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George Orwell 


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l 


GEORGE ORWELL 


1984 


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Title: Nineteen eighty-four 

Author: George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair) (1903-1950) 

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Title: Nineteen eighty-four 

Author: George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair) (1903-1950) 

1984 

George Orwell 

Titulo original: 1984 
Traduccion: Rafael Vazquez Zamora 
© 1948 by George Orwell 
© 1980 Salvat Editores S.A. 

Edicion electronica de Utopia (solo en espanol) 

Otras ediciones electronicas (pero basadas en la misma aquf 
seguida): 

http://www.laeditorialvirtual.com.ar/Pages/Orwell/GeorgeOrwell 1984 ParteOl .htm 
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/126227/1984-George-Orwell 



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1984, de George Orwell 

Juan Manuel Santiago 

Resumen 


1984 es la antiutopfa o distopfa mas celebre de todas cuantas 
fueron escritas durante la primera mitad del siglo XX. En ella, 
Orwell presenta un futuro en el que una dictadura totalitaria 
interfiere hasta tal punto en la vida privada de los ciudadanos que 
resulta imposible escapar a su control. La odisea de Winston 
Smith en un Londres dominado por el Gran Hermano y el partido 
unico se puede interpretar como una crftica de toda dictadura, 
aunque en las analogfas con el comunismo estalinista resultan 
evidentes, dada la trayectoria vital del autor. La novela cobra 
nueva vigencia en la sociedad actual, en la que el control a los 
ciudadanos, coercitivo o no, se halla mas perfeccionado que en 
ningun otro momento de la historia de la Humanidad. Por ultimo, 
veremos la influencia de la obra en la cultura del siglo XX, tanto 
en su vertiente literaria como en la cinematografica. 



i. Objetivo e intenciones 

Este texto se corresponde con el de la conferencia impartida durante la Leria del Libro de Cadiz 
de 2003, en el marco de la Jornadas de la Ciencia-Liccion organizada por el Ayuntamiento y 
coordinadas por Luis G. Prado, asf como en la HispaCon Xatafi 2003. A1 confeccionar el programa 
de actos de los encuentros de Cadiz nos parecio prioritario referirnos a esta obra, por cuanto que se 
trata de una de las novelas de ciencia — ficcion mas conocidas por el gran publico, al mismo tiempo 
que una de las que, pese al transcurso del tiempo, conserva mayor vigencia. ^Quien no ha ofdo 
expresiones como "El Gran Hermano te vigila", referidas al control ommmodo que el aparato 
estatal ejerce sobre el ciudadano, o "La guerra es la paz", expresion maxima de la manipulacion 
informativa? Para bien o para mal, el futuro trazado por George Orwell en su novela nos alcanzo 
tiempo ha y, pese a algunas diferencias notables (a saber, vivimos en democracia y no todo el 
control se ejerce de manera coercitiva: existen metodos mas sutiles que los descritos en 1984), en 
lfneas generales se trata de una novela cuyo mensaje permanece completamente vigente. Similares 
motivaciones nos llevaron a repetir la conferencia en el marco de unos encuentros mas 
especializados como son las HispaCones. En todo caso, el texto que vais a leer a continuacion se 
corresponde con el de ambas conferencias. 


2. Biografia de George Orwell 

Para entender 1984 tenemos que conocer la vida de George Orwell. Nacido en 1903 en 
Montihari (India), Eric Arthur Blair es hijo de un funcionario del gobierno imperial. Es enviado a 
Inglaterra, donde su madre, de origen anglofrances, le mete el gusanillo de la lectura y le alienta en 
sus pinitos literarios: a la edad de cinco anos compone un poema del que mas tarde renegarfa, 
aduciendo que se trataba de una copia del "Tigre, tigre" de William Blake. Tras su paso por la 
escuela de St. Cyprien obtiene una beca para estudiar en el colegio de Eton, en el que Aldous 
Huxley fue su profesor de frances durante un curso. Su origen humilde le granjea problemas en 
ambos centros, siempre en el punto de mira de sus companeros mas clasistas: es su primer contacto 
con la lucha de clases. Renuncia a seguir estudios universitarios y en 1922 se enrola en la Policfa 
Imperial, a la que sirve en Birmania durante cinco anos. All! observa autenticas atrocidades por 



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parte de sus companeros de armas, lo cual lo lleva a afirmar: "Cuando el hombre bianco se 
convierte en tirano, destruye su propia libertad". 

Su renuncia a la Policia Imperial va acompanada por otra doble renuncia: a su nombre (a partir 
de ahora sera conocido por el seudonimo George Orwell; George, por San Jorge, patron de 
Inglaterra; Orwell, por un rio que conocio en su infancia) y a su clase social: pasa una decada al 
borde de la indigencia, altemando la escritura con la vida entre las clases mas humildes. Fruto de 
esta experiencia es su primer libro, Sin blanca en Paris y Londres (1933). 

La paulatina adquisicion de conciencia social, que lo ha llevado a franquear las fronteras de una 
vida comoda entre las fuerzas de ocupacion imperiales para sumirse en la pobreza, da paso a una 
nueva etapa en la que Orwell ejerce el periodismo de denuncia. Hasta ahora, Orwell ha vivido la 
situacion de las clases inferiores; a partir de ahora, consagra su tiempo a explicar y divulgar esta 
situacion. Su nuevo objetivo son los mineros y obreros desempleados de una region industrial 
atrasada. Al termino del libro, El camino de Wigan Pier (1936), Orwell radicaliza su discurso. Ha 
descubierto el socialismo. No obstante, la dictadura del proletariado propugnada por el comunismo 
estalinista lo inquieta: no deja de ser una dictadura. 

Tras contraer matrimonio con Eileen O'Shaughnessy, viaja a Espana. El libro resultante, 
Homenaje a Cataluna (1938), su obra maestra segun este conferenciante, va un paso mas alia en su 
discurso. Orwell viaja como periodista pero se afilia a una milicia del POUM, el Partido Obrero de 
Unificacion Marxista de Andreu Nin y Joaquin Maurfn, de raiz trotskista. Es testigo de una serie de 
hechos que trastoman sus convicciones ideologicas. La experiencia de la autogestion 
colectivizadora en el frente aragones, en un codo a codo entre trotskistas y anarquistas (con el 
recurrente "Manana tomamos el cafe en Huesca", en alusion al objetivo militar que se pretendia 
conquistar), contrasta con los sucesos que presencia en mayo de 1937 en Barcelona. Herido en el 
frente, Orwell regresa a Barcelona. Durante su convalecencia, presencia un conato de guerra civil 
dentro de la guerra civil. Los enfrentamientos armados entre el ejercito regular republicano (bien 
equipado por la Union Sovietica) y las milicias anarquista-trotskistas dan lugar a una autentica 
purga a la manera de las sovieticas, y conllevan el desarme de las milicias. Las convicciones de 
Orwell sufren un duro reves. El comunismo ortodoxo, segun el, es otra forma de dictadura 
equiparable al nazismo, dos caras de una misma moneda que no hacen sino despojar a las clases 
trabajadoras. La manipulacion informativa y propagandists puede obviar los hechos de Barcelona 
como si no hubiesen existido. Nada diferencia al capitalismo del fascismo del estalinismo. Orwell 
ya maneja los dos puntos centrales de 1984. 

La II Guerra Mundial termina de ofrecemos un cuadro cabal de las inquietudes politico-literarias 
de Orwell. Durante el conflicto es miembro de la Home Guard, colabora en la BBC y es director 
literario del periodico Tribune. Es, pues, un personaje de relieve en la vida cultural britanica. 
Mientras Londres padece los bombardeos de las V-2, Orwell escribe Rebelion en la granja (1945). 
Tras aquella en apariencia inofensiva fabula acerca de unos animales que despojan al propietario de 
una granja y se lanzan a la autogesion de la misma se puede adivinar la parodia definitiva del 
comunismo estalinista. El cerdo Mayor es un trasunto de Lenin, que antes de morir marca las pautas 
a seguir hacia la definitiva liberacion del yugo de los humanos (el capitalismo). Sus herederos, 
Napoleon (Stalin, evidentemente) y Snowball (Trotski), terminaran enfrentados por el control de la 
granja. Esta fabula muestra la progresiva degradacion de los ideales revolucionarios, el 
linchamiento publico de la memoria del cerdo traidor (Snowball), la instauracion de la dictadura 
mas opresiva, la implantacion de esloganes a cual mas surrealista (se pasa del "Cuatro patas si, dos 
pies no" identificativo de la clase animal al "Cuatro patas si, dos pies mejor" con el que se advierte 
el alejamiento definitivo de los principios revolucionarios por parte de la clase dirigente) y el 
resentimiento de Orwell contra un comunismo traidor de sus propios ideales. Aunque Bernard Crick 
opina que la fecha de escritura data de 1945 y que en todo caso su publicacion se demoro debido a 
la escasez de papel, la tradicion afirma que Orwell concluyo el libro en torno a finales de 1943, pero 
tuvo que moverlo durante mas de un ano, de editor en editor, sorteando una especie de censura 
editorial: nadie estaba dispuesto a publicar un libro que era un ataque frontal a la Union Sovietica, 
en un momento en el que la Union Sovietica resultaba la mayor y mejor garantia de triunfo en la 



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guerra frente al fascismo intemacional. "Cualquier crftica seria al regimen sovietico, cualquier 
revelacion de hechos que el gobierno ruso prefiera mantener ocultos, no saldra a la luz", escribe 
Orwell en su ensayo "La libertad de prensa". "Vemos, paradojicamente, que no se permite criticar al 
gobiemo sovietico, mientras se es libre de hacerlo con el nuestro. Sera raro que alguien pueda 
publicar un ataque contra Stalin, pero es muy socorrido atacar a Churchill desde cualquier clase de 
libro o periodico." 

Este es el Orwell que, desencantado definitivamente con la clase polftica britanica (mas celosa, 
segun el, de defender a los comunistas sovieticos que a sus propios politicos), con la censura 
ejercida por los medios de comunicacion (hecho que le lleva a dimitir de la BBC), con la vida 
misma (su mujer fallece en 1945), con su propia salud (sus problemas de tuberculosis se acentuan, 
postrandolo en hospitales), acomete su obra mas conocida, su testamento literario, la novela que ha 
marcado el devenir de la literatura fantastica de caracter politico en la segunda mitad del siglo XX 
y, por que no, el devenir de la propia Humanidad: 1984. Tras su publicacion en 1949, Orwell entra 
en estado terminal. Fallece el 21 de enero de 1950, recien desposado con Sonia Brownel. Orwell ya 
habfa dicho cuanto tenia que decir. 


Ante la pregunta "^Que es 1984?", la respuesta mas 
evidente es: la distopia mas celebre de cuantas han sido 
escritas. Ahora bien, <;,quc es una distopia? Antes de proseguir 
con la exposicion hemos de hacer un parentesis y definir el 
termino. 

Tambien conocida como antiutopfa, una distopia es lo 
opuesto a una utopia. Esta definicion, facilona si se quiere, 
solo puede ser entendida si definimos utopia. Tomo prestadas 
ambas definiciones de la obra colectiva Las cien mejores 
novelas de ciencia ficcion del siglo XX, coordinada por Julian 
Dfez: 

"Utopia. Obra que describe un futuro estado feliz de la 
humanidad, en el que cada persona tiene satisfechas sus 
necesidades y existe un gobierno benevolo que provee de todo 
lo necesario (o bien el gobierno ha desaparecido 
absolutamente, tras resultar innecesario). El nombre procede 
de la obra homonima de Tomas Moro (que viene del griego u 
topos, ningun lugar)." 

"Distopia. Por contraposicion a «utopfa», obra en la que se 
describe una sociedad opresiva y cerrada sobre si misma, 
generalmente bajo el control de un gobierno autoritario, pero 
que es presentada a los ciudadanos de a pie como una utopia." 

En resumen: la utopia es el mejor de los mundos, la libertad definitiva y absoluta, el sueno de 
todo ciudadano hecho realidad. La distopia es el peor de los mundos, la sumision definitiva y 
absoluta, el sueno de todo gobemante hecho realidad, y sera tanto mas efectiva cuanto mayor grado 
de satisfaccion produzca en el ciudadano. Es lo que Sam J. Lundwall define en su Historia de la 
ciencia ficcion como "la pesadilla con aire acondicionado". 

Las utopias arrancan con la obra ya citada de Tomas Moro (1516). Concebidas en un principio 
como obras de caracter cuasi teorico politico en las que se ofrecfa luz y gufa al benevolo 
gobernante, conforme avanza el tiempo empiezan a adquirir mayores matices. La posibilidad de 
plasmar el pensamiento utopico en una organizacion polftica real nos lleva a varios intentos de 


3. 1984, la novela 
3.1 Utopia y distopia 



A SIGNET GIANT 



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comunidades, las mas destacadas de ellas las reducciones jesuiticas del Paraguay del siglo XVIII y 
los falansterios de los socialistas utopicos franceses del siglo XIX, que no dejan de ser tentativas 
aisladas abocadas al fracaso. La publicacion del Leviatdn de Thomas Hobbes en 1651 constituye la 
primera advertencia seria de que la utopia definitiva, en caso de alcanzarse, ha de contar con la 
naturaleza intrinsecamente rapaz de la especie humana. Los viajes de Gulliver de Jonathan Swift 
(1726) introducen el elemento satirico en la tradicion utopica. Finalmente, la doble revolucion 
industrial y liberal que conforma nuestra sociedad occidental presente no hace sino recordarnos que 
la utopia, entendida bajo la definicion anteriormente expuesta, es inalcanzable para todos: siempre 
habra clases. Salvo contadas excepciones (el socialismo fabiano de H.G. Wells o el socialismo 
determinista de Jack London), las utopias se van separando de la teoria politica, para pasar a ser 
coto casi exclusivo de la creacion literaria. 

Ahora bien, la literatura tambien sufre un cambio como consecuencia de la doble revolucion 
industrial y liberal. De acuerdo con Brian Aldiss, la publicacion en 1818 de Frankenstein o El 
moderno Prometeo de Mary Shelley marca el comienzo del genero literario conocido como ciencia- 
ficcion. El nacimiento del genero como tal es objeto de una controversia permanente, cuyos 
pormenores no viene al caso comentar aqui. Sea cual sea el origen de la ciencia-ficcion (el 
Frankenstein de Mary Shelley, 1818; La maquina del tiempo de H.G. Wells, 1895; la edicion del 
primer numero de la revista Amazing Stories en 1926), el caso es que las utopias van poco a poco 
acercandose a el. Durante el siglo XIX, la literatura utopica aun recurre al recurso tradicional 
inaugurado por Tomas Moro: el viaje fantastico a territorios lejanos, en los que poder desarrollar sin 
complejos el modelo politico propuesto. Ecos de esta concepcion se perciben en una de las obras 
maestras de la literatura utopica, Erewhon de Samuel Butler (1872). La tierra de Erewhon (que no 
es sino nowhere puesto del reves, es decir, "ningun lugar", es decir "utopia") nos muestra algunos 
claroscuros en su retrato del impacto de la industrializacion sobre los habitantes de un mundo que 
ya no es perfecto, tan solo casi perfecto. 

Sin embargo, esta forma de fabulacion tiene los dias contados. Los territorios inexplorados se 
terminan, hacia 1911, con la conquista del Polo Sur, ya no queda ningun lugar sin hollar por el ser 
humano. La biisqucda de utopias ya solo puede acontecer en dos direcciones: el tiempo futuro, o 
bien en otras tierras. El cambio de escenario de la literatura de viajes utopicos acompana al cambio 
de escenario en la literatura de aventuras. Ambos generos, utopico y aventurero, integran parte de su 
produccion (solo parte, me gustana aclarar este punto) en el genero fantastico, y mas concretamente 
en la ciencia-ficcion. 

No obstante, estamos hablando de una clase de literatura cada vez mas escapista. Con las 
excepciones de H.G. Wells y Jack London, empenados en buscar los aspectos menos optimistas del 
futuro mundo feliz, la utopia se muestra benevola con el devenir de la humanidad. Dos hechos 
cambian la percepcion de las cosas. La I Guerra Mundial (1914-1918) demuestra que es posible una 
castastrofe global, con ella viene a ponerse fin a un equilibrio continental que se habia mantenido 
casi intacto durante cerca de medio siglo. La Revolucion sovietica de 1917 demuestra que la utopia 
es posible, no solo a una escala reducida, como pretendieron los socialistas utopicos con sus 
pequenas comunidades, sino nada menos que en el pais mas extenso del orbe. El optimismo 
desaforado de los anos veinte, los felices anos veinte, es solo una verdad a medias. Durante los anos 
de entreguerras se producen tres obras fundamentales en la llamada literatura distopica, tres obras 
que a su manera influyen en el 1984 de George Orwell y que constituyen advertencias muy serias, 
aun no igualadas desde los punto de vista literario y admonitorio, de cuan terrible podra llegar a ser 
el futuro si el poder recae en unas manos dispuestas a partes iguales a coartar los derechos del 
individuo y a manipular su percepcion de la realidad hasta el punto de que, aun padeciendo una 
horrible represion, se crean en posesion del mayor grado de libertad nunca visto. Estas obras son 
Nosotros de Yevgueni Zamiatin (1921), Un mundo feliz de Aldous Huxley (1932) y La guerra de 
las salamandras de Karel Capek (1936). 

Llegados a este punto y expuestos los antecedentes personales y literarios de la obra, podemos 
entrar ya a analizar la novela de Orwell. 



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3.2 Sinopsis argumental 

1984 nos presenta, como ya hemos explicado, una distopia. En ella, el mundo esta dividido en 
tres grandes superpotencias: Oceania, Eurasia y Asia Oriental. La primera de ellas comprende 
America, Australia, Gran Bretana y el sur de Africa. Eurasia es el resultado de la absorcion de 
Europa por parte de la Union Sovietica. Asia Oriental comprende China, Japon e Indochina. El resto 
del planeta padece una guerra interminable que enfrenta a las tres potencias, en un cambiable ir y 
venir de alianzas y quebrantamientos de alianzas. A1 iniciarse la novela, Oceania esta en guerra con 
Eurasia, siempre ha estado en guerra con Eurasia, y esta aliada con Asia Oriental. 

Winston Smith es un funcionario del Departamento de Registro del Ministerio de la Verdad, que 
ironicamente es el organismo encargado de falsear la realidad y manipular la opinion publica. Es un 
cuadro inferior del todopoderoso Partido, muy lejos del nivel de vida alcanzado por los miembros 
del Partido Interior (la autentica elite de la sociedad, cuya cuspide es el todopoderoso Gran 
Hermano) y muy por encima de las privaciones de 
los proles, la clase inferior. Winston Smith es, pues, 
un representante de la llamemosle clase media de 
uno de los Estados mas represores que ha 
presentado la literatura. 

Pero Winston tiene dudas. Un incidente aislado, 
ocurrido anos antes, le hace sospechar que el 
Partido manipula la realidad hasta extremos 
inauditos. Por error, cayo en sus manos un 
documento que demostraba que tres disidentes 
politicos caidos en desgracia (Jones, Aaronson y 
Rutherford), a quienes el mismo habia visto en una 
ocasion, habian sido considerados heroes del 
Partido para, a continuacion, desaparecer de 
cualquier fuente documental como si nunca hubiesen existido. El trabajo de Winston consiste 
precisamente en eso: en alterar la prensa de tal manera que las noticias que incomodan al Partido 
sean sustituidas por otras que se adecuen a la verdad oficial. Al desaparecer de la prensa y de 
cualquier otro medio de comunicacion, se puede decir que estas noticias nunca han existido. De 
manera analoga, las personas caidas en desgracia a los ojos del Partido dejan de existir a los ojos del 
mundo. Mas aun: nunca han existido. Son nopersonas. Oceania puede estar en guerra con Asia 
Oriental, mas aun: Oceania siempre ha estado en guerra con Asia Oriental; pero si el Partido dice 
que Oceania esta en guerra con Eurasia, habra que creer al Partido: Oceania esta en guerra con 
Eurasia; mas aun, Oceania siempre ha estado en guerra con Eurasia. La facultad de cambiar de idea 
al compas de las consignas del Partido se conoce como doblepensar. Un objeto bianco puede ser 
negro si el Partido dice que es negro, y la tarea del buen miembro del Partido (y, por ende, del buen 
doblepensador) estriba en adquirir la habilidad mental necesaria para convencerse a si mismo de 
cuando un objeto bianco es negro. La capacidad del doblepensar de generar paradojas se manifiesta 
en la nomenclatura de los organos gubemamentales: el Ministerio de la Verdad se encarga de 
manipular la mente de los ciudadanos; el Ministerio de la Abundancia gestiona los cada vez mas 
escasos recursos alimenticios y de materias primas; el Ministerio de la Paz es el que moviliza 
tropas; y el Ministerio del Amor es el encargado de ejercer la coercion fisica y mental sobre la 
poblacion. 

El doblepensar es solo un estado mental conducente a afianzar una concepcion inmutable de la 
Historia; una herramienta intelectual, en resumen, que encuentra su plasmacion en la neolengua, un 
lenguaje artificial creado por el Partido y que modelara la mentalidad de los subditos del Gran 
Hermano. El lenguaje determina la estructura del pensamiento humano. Al prescindir de 
determinadas palabras, se prescinde de su concepto. De este modo, el Partido puede controlar y 
uniformar con mayor facilidad los pensamientos de sus miembros, para asi evitar el mayor de los 




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delitos concebibles en la sociedad de Oceania (y, suponemos, de las otras dos potencias): el 
crimental, o crimen mental. El delito de pensamiento opuesto al doblepensar y las directivas del 
Partido (o Ingsoc, Socialismo Ingles). Un ciudadano puede tener una conducta irreprochable, ser un 
miembro modelico del Partido, cantar todas sus consignas y dominar la neolengua; pero, si en su 
fuero interno no esta convencido de la verdad del Ingsoc y esquiva con pericia la tupida red de 
delaciones en que se sustenta la sociedad oceanica (desde la Policia del Pensamiento hasta tus 
propios hijos), tarde o temprano se delatara a sf mismo mediante el crimental. Un hecho, un indicio, 
un pensamiento a destiempo, un lapsus linguae o incluso una frase murmurada entre suenos 
bastaran para acabar con esa persona. Y ese "acabar con esa persona" funciona tanto en el sentido 
individual (sera vaporizado ) como en el colectivo (al ser una nopersona, nunca habra existido; nada 
demostrara que ha existido; nadie lo recordara). 

Syme, uno de los companeros de charla de cafe de Winston, encargado de confeccionar la 
undecima y casi definitiva edicion del Diccionario de neolengua, explica su funcionamiento: 

"^No ves que la finalidad de la neolengua es limitar el alcance del pensamiento, estrechar el 
radio de accion de la mente? Al final, acabaremos haciendo imposible todo crimen del pensamiento. 
En efecto, £como puede haber crimental si cada concepto se expresa claramente con una sola 
palabra, una palabra cuyo significado esta decidido rigurosamente y con todos sus significados 
secundarios eliminados y olvidados para siempre? (...) ^Como vas a tener un eslogan como el de "la 
libertad es la esclavitud" cuando el concepto de libertad no exista?" 

El miedo a cometer crimental es la primera serial de que se esta cometiendo un crimental. Y 
Winston ya ha alcanzado esa fase desde el momento en que comienza a escribir un diario. Lo hace a 
pluma, a hurtadillas, sorteando las telepantallas instaladas en su dormitorio que detectan su 
comportamiento hurano y le impelen a practicar su gimnasia. No existe intimidad. Cualquier acto 
solitario es antisocial, contrario a los principios del Ingsoc y conlleva la semilla del crimental. Ante 
semejante panorama, a Winston, como a cualquier otro habitante de este Londres espectral sacudido 
por los bombardeos enemigos, no le queda mas remedio que adoptar las formas externas que 
determinan el buen comportamiento de un miembro del Partido, consciente de que ya ha 
comenzado la cuenta atras para su captura. 

La primera manifestacion de sumision al partido es el acatamiento de sus tres grandes esloganes: 

La guerra es la paz. 

La libertad es la esclavitud. 

La ignorancia es lafuerza. 

Estas tres consignas constituyen el resumen del pensamiento del Ingsoc, son todo lo que un buen 
miembro del Partido necesita saber para ser un ciudadano de comportamiento correcto. La unica 
manera de alcanzar la paz es mantenerse en estado de guerra contra las otras dos potencias, pues 
tarde o temprano Oceania habra de triunfar. La sumision al Partido es la unica manera de mantener 
un prurito de libertad; en caso contrario, mueres, dejas de existir. El falseamiento de la realidad es la 
base del sistema: creer las mentiras impuestas nos hara fuertes para mantenernos dentro del juego 
propuesto por el Partido; cuanto mas ignorantes seamos, menos riesgo de descubrir incoherencias, 
menos posibilidades de caer en el crimental. 

El segundo acto que entrana sumision al partido es la abstinencia sexual. Winston odia con todas 
sus fuerzas a dos mujeres: su esposa Katharine y Julia. Ambas son el prototipo de mujer entregada 
al partido. Su esposa no quiso darle descendencia, al considerar la matemidad un acto de sumision 
al Partido: esta condicionada para considerar el sexo por placer como una abominacion, su frigidez 
es su fuerza. Julia encarna a la mujer militante en la Liga Juvenil Anti — Sex, que paradojicamente 
trabaja en el Departamento de Novela del Ministerio de la Verdad; es decir, se encarga de escribir 
novelas pomograficas que luego son distribuidas clandestinamente entre los proles, para hacerles 
creer que consumen un producto prohibido. Su cinturon de castidad es el recordatorio de que el 
sexo es intrfnsecamente abominable. Prohibido el amor, ^quc otra alternativa tienen los habitantes 
de Oceania (y, suponemos, de las otras dos potencias)? El odio. 



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El odio hasta el dolor. El tercer y mas fuerte motor de cohesion de la sociedad de 1984. Pero 
odio... <;,a que? A lo extrano, al extranjero, al contrario al Partido. Las manifestaciones populares 
mas ludicas son las peliculas de propaganda belica (en las que abunda la violencia explicita y, por lo 
que nos sugiere Orwell, real: imagmense una snuff movie perpetrada por miles de Rambos), las 
ejecuciones — previo escarnio publico — de prisioneros de guerra enemigos y, sobre todo y por 
encima de cualquier otra, los Dos Minutos de Odio. 

(■,Que son los Dos Minutos de Odio? La racion diaria de odio necesaria para hacer funcionar el 
sistema. ^Quien es el objeto del odio? Emmanuel Goldstein. El gran enemigo de Oceania, el Partido 
y el Gran Hermano. El adversario necesario. El traidor al Ingsoc. El artificice de la Revolucion que 
se vendio a las potencias extranjeras. La poblacion expresa su odio irracional, valvula de escape de 
todos sus instintos primarios, mientras se superponen imagenes apenas subliminales de Goldstein 
con un fondo de matanzas y atrocidades del enemigo de turno, sea Eurasia o Asia Oriental. Los 
ciudadanos estan condicionados para odiar a Goldstein. Odiar a Goldstein es amar al Partido y al 
Gran Hermano y todo lo que representa el Ingsoc. Dudar de la maldad de Goldstein es la peor forma 
de crimental. 

Y Winston ha caido en ella. 

Winston odia al Partido. Odia al Gran Hermano. Sabe que el Partido manipula la informacion, 
altera la percepcion cotidiana de la realidad. Lo sabe porque el mismo ha tenido en sus manos una 
prueba de este fraude. Pero al mismo tiempo sabe que otros como el odian tambien al Partido. Por 
ejemplo, O'Brien, un destacado miembro del Partido Interior, que se le aparece en suenos 
prometiendole un pronto encuentro en "el lugar donde no hay oscuridad". Guiado por una 
complicidad inexplicable, mas intuitiva que fundamentada, Winston sigue los pasos de O'Brien, 
convencido de que le puede aclarar dudas acerca de la existencia de la Hermandad, una 
organizacion clandestina, no se sabe si existente o no, enemiga jurada del Partido y el Gran 
Hermano, tal vez impulsada por el propio Goldstein, el archienemigo. 

Pero antes de acceder a O'Brien, Winston debe consumar su 
crimental, debe trasgredir todas las reglas impuestas por el Partido, 
debe vulnerar todos sus condicionamientos. La primera parte de la 
novela nos refiere el proceso mental que sigue Winston antes de 
estar preparado para saltar a esa fase. El acto de escribir el diario 
hace a Winston plantearse cada vez mas interrogantes acerca del 
funcionamiento del Partido y su sistema de mentiras. Es la toma de 
conciencia por parte de Winston de que la pretendida utopia no es 
sino una terrible distopia. El siguiente razonamiento llevara a 
Winston a plantearse la manera mas idonea de contestacion al 
regimen. Pronto llegara al punto en que la linica solucion posible le 
parece el derrocamiento del Gran Hermano. Pero los miembros del 
Partido, sujetos a ferreos condicionamientos, no seran la fuerza capaz de acabar con la opresion. 
Winston fija sus ojos en los proles, los proletaries, aquellos ciudadanos ajenos al juego del Gran 
Hermano, la masa acritica y no condicionada. Los proles recuerdan una existencia anterior al Gran 
Hermano, en ocasiones parecen inmunes al lavado de cerebro que ha hecho creer a toda la sociedad 
que la inmensa mayorfa de los adelantos cientificos y tecnologicos de la Humanidad son obra del 
Gran Hermano. Winston, que carece de familia (fue separado de su madre y su hermana a temprana 
edad) y ha sido criado por el Partido, recuerda lineas sueltas de una cancion de su infancia, que 
convertira en el simbolo de su individualidad y de su rebeldia. Esta rebeldia lo lleva a alquilar una 
habitacion en un barrio proletario. Alii podra escribir su diario y dar rienda suelta a sus fantasias, 
ajeno a la mirada omnipresente de las telepantallas. 

Tras la toma de conciencia, la comision del crimental, es hora de pasar a la accion. La segunda 
parte de la novela nos muestra el acercamiento entre Winston y Julia. La al principio odiada Julia se 
revela como una sediciosa. Pero, al contrario que Winston, la rebeldia de Julia es acritica e intuitiva. 
Julia carece de base teorica, todas las proclamas de Winston a favor del proletariado y en contra del 
Partido le resultan ajenas e incomprensibles. La rebeldia de Julia es de otra indole. Ella busca la 




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libertad sexual. En un mundo puritano, Julia predica con el ejemplo el amor libre, pero tiende a 
creerse de manera acrftica todas las proclamas del Partido y los principios del Ingsoc. Elio lleva a 
Winston a definir su rebeldfa como exclusivamente «de piernas abajo». El amor clandestino entre 
Julia y Winston es desesperado: ambos saben que sus dfas estan contados. No hacen planes de 
futuro: no tiene sentido hacerlos. Justo en ese instante entra O'Brien en accion. 

O'Brien viene a cerrar el proceso de rebeldfa a los tres principios motores de la sociedad de 
Oceania. Perpetrado el crimental gracias a su inteligencia y su capacidad de sfntesis, vulnerada la 
abstinencia sexual gracias a Julia, Winston penetra en el mundo del odio gracias a O'Brien. O'Brien 
lo ayudara a odiar al Partido introduciendolo en la Hermandad. El juramento de fidelidad a esta 
organizacion es una buena muestra de ello: 

" — ^Que estais dispuestos a hacer? 

— Todo aquello de lo que seamos capaces. 

— ^Estais dispuestos a dar vuestras vidas? 

— Sf. 

— ^Estais dispuestos a cometer asesinatos? 

— Sf. 

— I, A cometer actos de sabotaje que puedan causar la muerte de centenares de personas? 

— Sf. 

— I A vender vuestro pafs a potencias extranjeras? 

— Sf. 

— ^Estais dispuestos a hacer trampas, a falsificar, a hacer chantaje, a corromper a los ninos, a 
distribuir drogas, a fomentar la prostitucion, a extender enfermedades venereas... a hacer todo lo 
que pueda causar desmoralizacion y debilitar el poder del Partido? 

— Si, por ejemplo, sirviera de algun modo a nuestros intereses arrojar acido sulfurico a la cara de 
un nino, ^estarfais dispuestos a hacerlo? 

— Sf. 

— ^Estais dispuestos a suicidaros si os lo ordenamos y en el momento en que lo ordenasemos? 

— Sf. 

— ^Estais dispuestos, los dos, a separaros y no volveros a ver nunca? 

— No — interrumpio Julia." 

Juramentados ambos, Julia y Winston brindan con O'Brien por el pasado. Por el pasado que 
existio, no por el pasado eternamente mutable que defiende el Partido. Es el momento en que ambos 
pasan a formar parte de la Hermandad. Por fin pueden leer el libro clave de la rebelion, el tratado 
teorico escrito por Emmanuel Goldstein: Teona y practica del colectivismo oligdrquico. En 
realidad, se trata de un ensayo analftico, sin apenas contenido subversivo: es una simple descripcion 
de las instituciones y la historia de Oceania. La respuesta a la pregunta que Winston se habfa 
formulado alguna que otra vez en su diario: "Comprendo COMO. No comprendo POR QUE". La 
certeza del porque de las cosas, la comprension por parte de Winston de por que odia al Partido y 
todo lo que encama, es el ultimo paso en su trayectoria moral y polftica. Solo ahora, y no antes, 
podra enfrentarse a la siguiente etapa, referida en la tercera parte de la novela: su tortura. 

Evidentemente, Winston no podfa eludir su destino: ser encarcelado. El propio O'Brien, 
comisario de la Policfa del Pensamiento, se encarga de capturarlo y conducirlo al Ministerio del 
Amor. Allf sufrira todas las vejaciones imaginables, un lavado de cerebro que lo lleve a amar al 
Partido y el Gran Hermano. La temible habitacion 101 marca el final de Winston como persona; en 
ella ha de enfrentarse a sus fantasmas mas terribles. Una vez superada la humillacion que anida allf 
adentro, Winston estara dispuesto a creer cualquier consigna del Partido. Los discursos 
adoctrinadores de O'Brien surten efecto. Winston ya es capaz de doblepensar. Ve cinco dedos 
cuando O'Brien le ensena cuatro. Y, mejor aun, ama al Gran Hermano. Ya es un miembro 
respetable del Partido. 



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3.3 Control social, dictadura, realidad y violencia 

Tras este resumen de la novela, podemos detenernos en los cuatro aspectos fundamentales de la 
exposicion de Orwell. 

3.3.1 Control social 

El sistema politico presentado por Orwell esta encaminado a alienar al individuo, a hacerlo 
virtualmente incapaz de pensar por sf mismo. Siguiendo la definicion anteriormente expuesta de 
distopfa, es una sociedad cerrada sobre sf misma, que se presenta como la sociedad perfecta. Solo 
aislando las influencias extemas se podra realizar el ideal del Ingsoc. El exterior solo puede ser 
malo. Solo el Gran Hermano y el Partido son capaces de ofrecer algo bueno al ciudadano de 
Oceania. A tenor de lo que hemos lefdo en la obra de Goldstein, todo nos hace suponer que este 
esquema de sociedad es identico en Eurasia y en Asia Oriental. La guerra exterior frente a dos 
enemigos identificables (un enemigo ffsico: las potencias enfrentadas a Oceania; un enemigo 
ideologico: Goldstein) es el factor de cohesion, que llega adonde el Gran Hermano no alcanza con 
sus esloganes. 

Existen medios coercitivos para asegurarse este control. El Ministerio del Amor dispone un 
aparato represor sin fisuras. No es infrecuente que tu propio hijo te delate, a semejanza de los 
jovenes camisas pardas nazis. Asf pues, vemos que existen diversos niveles de control social: 

1. La guerra exterior contra el enemigo ffsico e ideologico. Es la razon de ser ultima del Estado. 
Hay que odiar a Goldstein y a la potencia enemiga de tumo; solo asf, por contraposicion, se podra 
amar al Gran Hermano. 

2. La guerra interior contra el crimental. Fomenta la participacion de los propios ciudadanos en 
su sistema represor. Pasa ineludiblemente por el aprendizaje y repeticion de las consignas 
fundamentales del Partido. Es el segundo nivel de cohesion: el amor al Gran Hermano. 

3. La guerra contra la verdad. Orquestada por los medios de comunicacion, consiste en un lavado 
de cerebro permanente de las masas. Configura la realidad que el Partido quiere imponer. A falta de 
pruebas en contrario, termina por ser La Verdad. Es un nivel mas profundo de cohesion del sistema: 
si el recurso al enemigo externo y a la desviacion ideologica no son suficientes, se encarga de anular 
las ultimas manifestaciones espontaneas de contestacion. No solo hay que amar al Gran Hermano: 
ademas hay que agradecerle el bienestar actual. Todos los adelantos, sean de la indole que sean, son 
obra exclusiva del Gran Hermano. 

4. La guerra contra las costumbres. Consiste en dar apariencia de virtuosismo a todos los actos 
cotidianos. Ninguna conducta puede ser considerada erronea, so pena de incurrir en el crimental. 
Hay que practicar la abstinencia sexual. Hay que acudir a los autos de fe contra los enemigos del 
Partido y del Estado. Hay que gritar en los Dos Minutos de Odio. No hay que dar pie a conductas 
ambiguas en la calle. Hay que estar siempre visible para la telepantalla. El Gran Hermano te vigila 
y, como corresponde a una figura fuertemente paternalista, esta dispuesto a castigar al hijo 
descarriado que traiciona su confianza y desprecia su amor. 


3.3.2 Dictadura 

El regimen asf caracterizado es, evidentemente, una dictadura. Se ejerce un autoritarismo sin 
lfmites. No se contempla ninguna institucion de participacion ciudadana, ni siquiera un parlamento 
ficticio en el que exista una democracia fingida. No hay que convencer a nadie de las bondades del 
regimen. Al estar cerrado al exterior, el Estado no tiene que rendir cuentas a institucion o potencia 
extranjera alguna. Al ser la dictadura perfecta, la opinion publica es irrelevante. Es mas: la opinion 
publica no existe. 



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Conocemos la trayectoria vital de George Orwell. Sabemos de sus querellas intemas en el seno 
de las fuerzas izquierdistas. Estamos al corriente de su desencanto con los partidos denominados 
obreros. A tenor de sus experiencias en el frente aragones y en Barcelona durante la guerra civil 
espanola, descritas en Homenaje a Cataluna, y a ralz de lo leldo en Rebelion en la granja, resultana 
muy facil ceder a la tentacion de catalogar 1984 como una obra anticomunista. Lo cual es cierto 
pero inexacto. 

Orwell se cuida de trazar un mapa geopolftico en el que tienen cabida tres totalitarismos feroces 
y sin fisuras, producto de un reparto del mundo que, por lo sugerido en la novela, debio de 
producirse en algun momento en torno a la decada de 1950. Asia Oriental cayo bajo el influjo de 
China, y ya sabemos que China es un Estado comunista desde que Mao Zedong desalojara a Chiang 
Kai Chek de la China continental e instaurara su regimen, alia por 1949, todavla en vida de Orwell, 
con 1984 en proceso de redaccion. Eurasia es una colonia de la Union Sovietica, en funcionamiento 
desde el triunfo de la Revolucion bolchevique de 1917 pero con el estatus de superpotencia mundial 
desde que en 1945, al veneer al nazismo aleman de Hitler, se hiciera virtualmente con el control la 
Europa del Este, tras la constitucion, en 1949, del Consejo de Ayuda Economica (COMECON), 
germen del Pacto de Varsovia. Oceania es el resultado de la absorcion por parte de los Estados 
Unidos de America de todos los palses de habla inglesa (Canada, Gran Bretana, Surafrica, Australia 
y Nueva Zelanda) mas sus colonias naturales (de acuerdo con lo establecido en la Doctrina Monroe 
y la Doctrina del Destino Manifiesto, Mexico y Centro y Sudamerica). Vemos, pues, que si la 
crftica de Orwell hubiera tenido como unico objetivo el comunismo estalinista, habrfa hecho caer 
Gran Bretana bajo la influencia de Eurasia, algo que desde el punto de vista geografico tenia mas 
sentido que hacer bascular a su patria natal hacia la influencia estado unidense. El Gran Hermano 
practica una ideologia, el Ingsoc, indistinguible del comunismo estalinista, cierto, pero tambien 
indistinguible del nazismo o cualquier otra forma de fascismo. Su antisemitismo (Goldstein es un 
apellido judio) puede ser tan propio de un nazi aleman como de un comunista sovietico como de un 
ultrarrepublicano estadounidense (Henry Ford, por poner un ejemplo, fue cabeza visible del 
antisemitismo en su pais) o un tory britanico. Su xenofobia adentra sus raices en la supremacia de la 
raza blanca y en la primacia de la lengua inglesa, que solo sera superada por la neolingua, de raices 
asimismo inglesas. 

Si Orwell lo hubiera querido, el Gran Hermano podrfa haber sido ruso, o chino, o aleman. Pero 
no. El Gran Hermano es anglosajon. Oceania es una dictadura, una de las tres dictaduras globales 
surgidas a raiz de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y acompana al comunismo estalinista sovietico y al 
comunismo maoista chino, pero no es ninguna de las dos, aunque comparte elementos ideologicos y 
de modus operandi. Tambien posee todos los atributos que convierten en dictadura totalitaria al 
fascismo italiano y al nazismo. Pero no es ninguna de ellas. No se puede identificar con ningun 
totalitarismo existente en el momento de redaccion de la novela. Es una extrapolacion de lo que 
podrfa ser un comunismo o un fascismo a la anglosajona. De donde debemos colegir que Orwell 
esta criticando todos los tipos de totalitarismo. Su crftica es de caracter universal, y tanto da la 
forma que este totalitarismo adquiera: comunismo, nazismo, fascismo o Ingsoc. 


3.3.3 Falseamiento de la realidad 

La unica manera de perpetuar un regimen dictatorial como el presentado por Orwell es falseando 
la realidad, perpetuando la mentira. Para que el sistema funcione, hay que acabar con la disidencia. 
El crimental es el mayor delito, y para evitarlo hay que terminar con las causas que conducen al 
mismo. Hay que manipular el pasado, hacerlo inexistente si es necesario. "Quien controla el 
presente controla el futuro. Quien controla el pasado controla el presente." Este axioma tiene una 
interpretacion evidente: el futuro sera de quienes han manipulado el pasado hasta el punto de 
modelarlo a su antojo. Mediante la anulacion de cualquier tiempo que no sea el mismo presente se 
podra evitar la contestacion al regimen: la disidencia suele recurrir a factores historicos, a un pasado 
en el que las cosas no eran como ahora, y ese recurso al pasado conduce a rectificar el presente y 



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mejorar el futuro. Anulando la linea temporal se atajan de raiz estas posibilidades. El unico pasado 
existente es aquel que el Partido dispone, y puede cambiarlo a su antojo, si una cifra de produccion 
de chocolate no cuadra, si un objetivo del plan trienal no se cumple, si tres lideres 
antirrevolucionarios deben ser vaporizados. Cualquier discordancia entre el pasado y la propaganda 
oficial puede inducir a pensar que el presente no es perfecto o no esta completamente controlado. 
Ante la imposibilidad de viajar en el tiempo para modificar esos parameters descontrolados, la 
unica manera posible de eliminar el problema es borrandolos de la memoria. Si se manipulan y 
adulteran, los nuevos registros pasaran a ser la unica verdad. La antigua verdad nunca habra 
existido, luego no sera verdad. No sera. Una persona incomoda para el regimen, un culpable 
confeso de crimental (pues el crimental siempre conlleva una confesion de culpabilidad), sera 
anulado como persona, primero se le despojara de su personalidad y mas tarde, cuando su ejemplo 
viviente ya haya sido interiorizado por el subdito, sera vaporizado, sera una nopersona. No sera. No 
habra sido nunca. 

Esta realidad configura un futuro perfecto. El pasado, en perpetuo movimiento, dara lugar a un 
futuro inmovil, en el que no quepa la disidencia porque ya no existira palabra para la disidencia. La 
neolengua se encargara de ello. El lenguaje modelara la mentalidad de los hombres y mujeres 
futuros, en la misma medida que la manipulacion de la Historia. Llegara un momento en que el 
tiempo se estanque, pues, como todo cuerpo perfecto, la entropia habra desaparecido y se 
encontrara en estado de reposo absoluto. Solo en ese momento daran igual el pasado y el futuro, 
puesto que solo se vivira en el presente. Ese momento no esta lejano. Los expertos preven que hacia 
2050 se publicara la edicion definitiva del Diccionario de neolengua. Esa es la fecha que el Ingsoc 
se ha marcado para controlar la realidad. Una fecha tal vez utopica, puesto que (y esto solo puede 
significar que el Partido esta proximo a alcanzar sus fines) Winston no tiene la certeza de la fecha 
en que vive. Elige 1984 como fecha para comenzar su diario por aproximacion, no porque le conste. 
Es probable que la accion de 1984 ni siquiera transcurra en el ano 1984. El tiempo esta dejando de 
existir. 

Pero este ideal puede no alcanzarse. En tanto no se hayan borrado todos los registros del pasado 
que puedan comprometer el presente, y en tanto no se haya perfeccionado la estructura mental de 
los habitantes de la Oceania futura, existe el riesgo del libre pensamiento. Y solo con la violencia se 
puede erradicar el germen del individualismo. 


3.3.4 Violencia 

El Estado debe ejercer la coercion para asegurarse el cumplimiento de las leyes. Esto es aplicable 
a cualquier tipo de Estado, sea totalitario o democratico. Solo el nivel en que se ejerce esa coercion 
determina el tipo de regimen politico. Un Estado en el que priman los mecanismos violentos de 
coercion es un Estado totalitario. La Oceania de 1984 lo es. Bajo la apariencia de utopia, todos 
saben lo que les espera si caen en desgracia. El crimental es arbitrario, no respeta a nadie, padres de 
familia o miembros del Partido. Ni siquiera Syme, el ideologo de la neolengua, escapa a la prision, 
a las siniestras mazmorras del Ministerio del Amor. La violencia es el ultimo recurso, al que tarde o 
temprano llegaran todos los culpables de crimental, y se ejerce de una manera desmedida. El Gran 
Hermano parece un dios biblico, ejerciendo su castigo. O'Brien es una figura casi patemalista, 
intenta por todos los medios ensenar a Winston sus errores, convencerlo de lo erroneo de su actitud, 
modelando su mente al antojo del Partido, induciendolo al doblepensar. Para ello, Winston ha de 
traicionar aquello que mas quiere y, pese a que Orwell se recrea sin piedad en las escenas de tortura 
fisica (las referencias a la Inquisicion son abundantes), lo mas terrible de la novela es lo que 
acontece dentro de la habitacion 101, donde Winston se enfrenta a lo que mas teme. Violencia 
intelectual y violencia fisica van unidas en un binomio indisoluble que solo tiene una finalidad: 
perpetuar el Estado de terror y opresion, y no solo eso, sino hacerlo con el beneplacito y la firme 
adhesion y conviccion de los ciudadanos oprimidos. En palabras de O'Brien: «Si quieres hacerte 
una idea de como sera el futuro, figurate una bota aplastando un rostro humano... incesantemente». 



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4. Influences literarias en 1984 

1984 es la mas famosa de las distopfas. Pero, como hemos visto, no es la primera de ellas. Tal 
vez no sea la mejor desde el punto de vista literario. Ni siquiera es la mas terrible. Todos los 
aspectos analizados por Orwell estan presentes en obras anteriores. Lo cual, evidentemente, no es 
un demerito para 1984. Podemos afirmar que 1984 es el ejemplo mas depurado de distopfa, la 
continuacion de una tradicion narrativa que no hace sino advertirnos de los riesgos que entrana la 
concentracion de poder en unas pocas manos y trata de adoptar una postura etica para evitar tales 
situaciones. 

El antecedente mas claro de 1984 es la novela Nosotros , de Yevgueni Zamiatin. Su autor era un 
ingeniero ruso (1884-1937) que hizo la Revolucion con los bolcheviques y cayo en desgracia, hasta 
el extremo de padecer el exilio gracias a la intercesion directa de Stalin. Fruto de su experiencia es 
la novela Nosotros (1921). En ella se nos presenta un futuro remoto en el que en apariencia solo 
existe el Estado Unico dominado por el Bienhechor. La intimidad es imposible: las paredes son 
transparentes y las practicas sexuales estan reglamentadas muy estrictamente. El pronombre "yo" 
esta proscrito. Los habitantes del Estado Unico ni siquiera tienen derecho a emplear un nombre 
propio. D-503 anota sus experiencias en un diario. D-503 es el ingeniero encargado de construir la 
primera nave espacial del Estado Unico. Una mujer, 1-330, irrumpe en la vida de D-503 y lo 
pervierte. D-503 empieza a sonar y desarrolla un alma. El Estado Unico tiene que intervenir para 
extirparle la fantasia y las ansias individualistas. 

La novela de Zamiatin no llego a ser publicada en Rusia hasta fechas recientes. Sin embargo, 
circulo por Europa Occidental durante la decada de los 20 y los 30, y sin duda Orwell la leyo para 
perfilar algunos de los aspectos argumentales de 1984. La dictadura que nos presenta Nosotros es 
mas terrible aun que la de 1984, puesto que se nos presenta como un Estado Unico y los ciudadanos 
carecen de derecho a la intimidad (con las paredes de cristal de Nosotros, ^que necesidad hay de 
utilizar las telepantallas de 19841). Podemos considerar a 1-330 como el antecedente de Julia, 
aunque con una salvedad: Julia permanece inmune a las ensenanzas de Winston, no lo pervierte ni 
se deja influir por el, tan solo vive una historia de amor con el y expresa una rebelion a su manera 
(mediante la liberacion sexual), pero por lo demas es una persona completamente acrftica. 1-330, 
por el contrario, ensena a pensar a D-503, le abre las puertas de la duda metodica, lo lanza hacia la 
clandestinidad. En este aspecto, el personaje de 1-330 resulta mas atractivo y poderoso que el de 
Julia, mientras que el de D-503 se nos presenta dotado de mayor personalidad que Winston. 

Otra novela que sin duda ejercio una fuerte influencia en 1984 es Un munclo feliz, de Aldous 
Huxley (1932). Este britanico (1884-1963), curiosamente alumno de Eton, al igual que el joven 
Orwell, se muestra mas preocupado por la psicologfa de personajes. Fiel a sus inquietudes sobre el 
consumo de sustancias psicotropicas, Huxley fundamenta su distopfa en el consentimiento de los 
alienados. La alienacion se produce gracias al consumo de una droga, el soma, que hace posible ese 
mundo feliz. Mediante el consumo de soma los ciudadanos huyen de sus problemas. La sociedad de 
consumo hace el resto. Vivimos en el ano 632 despues de Ford, el santo patron de este Estado 
Mundial. El consumo es una necesidad. Para concienciar a las masas, nada mejor que convencerlas 
desde la misma cuna. Gracias a la ingenierfa genetica se ha perfeccionado lo que en la actualidad 
llamarfamos clonacion. Legiones de seres identicos, producidos en tubos de ensayo, rfgidamente 
divididos en castas (desde los superiores alfa, dotados para el trabajo intelectual y directivo, hasta 
los disminuidos epsilon, simple mano de obra), todos son meros engranajes necesarios de una 
enorme cadena de montaje, y todos ellos estan condicionados desde la infancia mediante el 
aprendizaje hipnagogico. Bernard Marx, un alfa con una tara de nacimiento, trabaja como disenador 
de esos programas hipnagogicos, elabora las frases que, a fuerza de ser repetidas durante el sueno 
de los infantes, determinaran el pensamiento de las masas. Pero Bernard, debido a su tara ffsica, es 
antisocial. Es contrario al amor libre imperante, representado por Lenina Crowne, una beta 
trabajadora en la Sala de Decantacion (el lugar donde los fetos crecen). Ella accede a acompanarlo a 



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una reserva en la que viven seres humanos sin civilizar, es decir ajenos a este estado de cosas. All! 
topan con Linda, una nacida en el Estado Mundial que cometio el crimen de quedarse embarazada 
(el mayor pecado en este mundo) y engendrar a John, el Salvaje. Con el Salvaje de la mano, 
Bernard regresa a Londres. Vemos el idllico mundo feliz bajo la mirada atenta, critica y 
escandalizada de John, solo para darnos cuenta de que este mundo feliz, esta inmensa utopia, es 
terrible, acaso mas terrible que la trazada por Orwell en 1984. 

Orwell leyo Un mundo feliz. Las similitudes, desde luego, existen. Bernard, igual que Winston, 
trabaja configurando la realidad que aprenderan los habitantes de Londres: el primero, creando la 
realidad; el segundo, sustituyendola. Lenina y su falta de complejos en materia sexual son una 
buena materia prima para Julia. El resto, a fuerza de presentarnos una distopia basada en la felicidad 
de los subditos del Estado opresor, podria parecer distinto, pero en el fondo es mucho mas terrible: 
un habitante del mundo presentado por 1984, vease Winston, sabe que esta siendo oprimido; un 
habitante del Estado Unico de Un mundo feliz cree que vive en el mejor de los mundos posibles, 
donde imperan el consumismo y el amor libre. 

No son las unicas influencias de 1984, pero si las mas destacables. Entre las distopias mas 
celebres cabria hablar tambien de La guerra de las salamandras , de Karel Capek (1936), que nos 
presenta, con un agudo sentido del humor, una guerra total, triste anticipo de la Segunda Guerra 
Mundial, entre la humanidad y una raza de reptiles dotados de inteligencia. Pero esto apenas se 
observa en la obra de Orwell. Busquemos, pues, influencias fuera de la corriente distopica de la 
literatura fantastica. La mas evidente es El cero y el infinito, de Arthur Koestler (1941). Hungaro de 
nacimiento (1905-1983) y britanico de adopcion, fue amigo personal de Orwell, con quien mantuvo 
un interesante flujo de correspondencia. Su militancia comunista (1931-1937) lo llevo, entre otras 
cosas, a ser condenado a muerte durante la Guerra civil espanola. Fruto de sus experiencias y del 
desencanto sufrido por una Union Sovietica inmersa de lleno en las purgas estalinistas, escribio El 
cero y el infinito, una de las novelas mas dolorosas que leerse puedan, e inspiradora directa de la 
tercera parte de 1984. Los interrogatorios y torturas a que es sometido Winston por O'Brien beben 
directamente de los de esta novela. 


5. Influencias de 1984 

Pero 1984 es una novela que tambien ha influido a posteriori, no solo en la literatura sino 
tambien en el cine y en la vida cotidiana. 


5.1 Influencias literarias 

Las influencias literarias de 1984 se encuentran en la tradicion distopica de la ciencia-ficcion. La 
novela puso el liston tan alto que nunca mas se volvio a presentar un futuro tan negro: hacerlo 
hubiera equivalido a incurrir en la autoparodia o la hiperbole increible, y la efectividad de 1984 
radica en que resulta inquietantemente creible. Una distopia como Limbo, de Bernard Wolfe (1952), 
tal vez deba mas a Un mundo feliz que a 1984, pero contiene puntos de interes para el estudioso de 
la obra de Orwell. El estadounidense Bernard Wolfe (1915-1986) fue guardaespaldas de Trotski en 
su exilio mexicano de Coyoacan y dio a publicar Limbo, una distopia tan inteligente como mordaz, 
en la que las diferencias entre Estados se solucionan mediante una especie un tanto desquiciada de 
Juegos Olimpicos. Tras la guerra atomica (fantasma que, curiosamente, apenas desarrolla Orwell), 
el credo imperante es el vol amp, la amputacion voluntaria de miembros, que determina el prestigio 
social. El mundo esta dominado por dos grandes superordenadores. El futuro es incomprensible. El 
Gran Hermano no lo entenderia: ha quedado superado por la informatica. 

Tambien serfa aventurado hablar de puntos de contacto entre 1984 y La naranja mecdnica, de 
Anthony Burguess (1962). La violencia esta consagrada como entretenimiento para la juventud. La 
caida en desgracia de uno de los practicantes de la ultraviolencia, Alex, corre en paralelo a la 



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narracion de su reinsercion. Pero no se trata de una reinsercion destinada a erradicar la violencia de 
su ser (se intenta en un primer momento, dejandolo indefenso ante el mundo exterior), sino 
encaminada a hacerle recuperar el instinto agresivo y violento. Es tal vez la unica concomitancia 
entre ambas obras: un largo proceso, mezcla de rehabilitacion y tortura, que da como resultado una 
persona del agrado del poder, hecha a imagen y semejanza de las directrices gubemamentales. 


5.2 Influencias cinematograficas 

Podemos hablar de dos adaptaciones cinematograficas de 1984. o 
mejor dicho, de dos y media. 

La primera data de 1956. Fue dirigida por Michael Anderson y estuvo 
protagonizada por Edmond O'Brien (como Winston), Jan Sterling (como 
Julia), Michael Redgrave y Donald Pleasence. La segunda, fechada 
precisamente en 1984, fue dirigida por Michael Radford y protagonizada 
por John Hurt (Winston), Suzanna Hamilton (Julia) y Richard Burton 
(O'Brien). Ambas son correctas, pero demasiado literales, fallan 
precisamente por su intento de ser fieles a la novela de Orwell. Puestos a 
destacar, destaquemos un elemento heterodoxo en la segunda: la musica, 
a cargo del grupo Eurythmics. Ademas de estas dos peliculas, cabe 
consignar al menos dos adaptaciones televisivas, una fechada en 1954 
(dirigida por Rudolph Cartier y protagonizada por Peter Cushing) y la otra en 1965 (dirigida por 

Christopher Morahan y protagonizada por David Buck). 

De este modo, nos vemos en la obligacion de hablar 
de la adaptacion cinematografica que haria el lugar "dos 
y medio": Brazil, de Terry Gilliam (1985). El director 
nunca se cansa de repetir que no habia leido el libro, si 
bien el titulo provisional de la pelicula era 1984 y medio, 
un claro homenaje a la novela de Orwell y a la pelicula 
de Federico Fellini 8 y medio. La odisea burocratica de 
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) se da un aire al ambiente 
en que trabaja Winston; muy bien podria ser el 
Ministerio de la Verdad, del mismo modo que Ian Holm 
en el papel de Kurtzmann parece un doble de George 
Orwell. Las ensonaciones de Sam con Jill Layton 
parecen los momentos mas arrebatados de la historia de 
amor entre Winston y Julia. El mundo opulento en que 
vive la madre de Winston podria ser el ambiente de las 
elites del Partido Interior. La caida en desgracia de Sam 
y su posterior tortura parecen la plasmacion en imagenes 
mas perfecta y estremecedora de la tercera parte de 1984 
novela. Por supuesto, Gilliam confiere al conjunto un 
tono satirico (esas bromas acerca de la inoperancia de la 
policia secreta, incapaz de horadar un agujero de las 

dimensiones adecuadas para capturar -por error a 

un supuesto disidente politico porque «se han vuelto a 
pasar al sistema metrico decimal»), asi como un 
componente entre kafkiano y onirico (ese fontanero comando encarnado por Robert De Niro) de los 
que carece la no vela de Orwell. 

Se podrian encontrar ecos marginales de 1984 en otras peliculas como The Wall (Alan Parker, 
1982), que nos presenta otra "pesadilla de aire acondicionado" con el leitmotiv de la musica de Pink 
Floyd, pero sus similitudes con la novela no dejan de ser eso: marginales. 


JOHN HURT 


RICHARD BURTON 



Big Brother is 
Watching... 







George Orwell 


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5.3 Influences en la vida cotidiana 

Lo mas terrible de 1984 es que ha trascendido el ambito puramente literario y podemos encontrar 
ecos de la novela en la vida cotidiana. Cabe hablar de la capacidad anticipatoria de la novela, un 
asunto que ha levantado multitud de controversias y que en tomo al ano 1984 se convirtio 
practicamente en el asunto del dfa en las columnas de prensa. ^Que habfa en al ano 1984 de la 
novela 19841, se preguntaban periodistas, columnistas y tertulianos. La conclusion mas extendida 
era que Orwell habfa fracasado como pro feta: la dictadura predicha en sus paginas no habfa tenido 
lugar. El mundo parecfa respirar tranquilo: el Gran Hermano nunca goberno. Orwell ya no era 
fiable. 

Sin embargo, huelga decir que Orwell no era un profeta, sino un escritor concienciado. No es 
pequena la diferencia: como buen distopista, como buen escritor, como buena persona, Orwell no 
intentaba adivinar el futuro, sino evitar un futuro posible mediante un alegato que sacudiese 
conciencias e indujese a la reflexion. El futuro previsto en 1984 resultaba terrible no por el hecho de 
que Orwell creyese que iba a tener lugar, sino porque temfa que, si las cosas segufan asf, podrfa 
llegar a suceder. 

I A que temfa Orwell? Ya hemos visto que la 
posibilidad de una dictadura casi mundial, capaz de 
manipular los medios de comunicacion y anular la 
voluntad y la memoria de los ciudadanos, le parecfa la 
peor de las posibilidades. 1984 es una advertencia 
demasiado poco sutil, desesperada, muy evidente. 
Homenaje a Cataluna llegaba en mal momento: la Union 
Sovietica aun era la mejor garantfa en la lucha contra el 
fascismo internacional. La II Guerra Mundial aun no habfa 
empezado. Rebelion en la granja tampoco llego en buen 
momento: la guerra estaba recien ganada, la Union 
Sovietica habfa salvado la democracia en el mundo y la fabula moral propuesta por el resultaba 
demasiado evidente. Por momentos, Orwell cree que la batalla esta perdida, que de nada servira 
denunciar el totalitarismo. Parece que la Union Sovietica ha formado una alianza contra natura con 
las potencias democraticas occidentales, con el unico fin de silenciar la verdad. El inicio de la 
guerra frfa da lugar a una lucha de bloques que, con la irrupcion de la China comunista, conforma 
un panorama internacional inquietante: el fantasma de una guerra total acecha. Es una guerra de 
baja intensidad, manifestada en conflictos puntuales, pero siempre con el fantasma de la 
conflagracion mundial rondando. Puesto que la guerra militar no resulta conveniente, las mejor 
arma para ganar el conflicto no declarado es otra: la guerra propagandfstica. Para ganarse a la 
opinion publica, ambos bandos crean un ambiente de confrontacion (un enemigo identificable) y no 
dudan en tergiversar los medios de comunicacion, e incluso la historia, de acuerdo con sus propios 
fines. Solo asf se tendra una ciudadanfa completamente convencida de la maldad del enemigo (lo 
cual garantiza la cohesion del grupo) y dispuesta a casi todo por defender su integridad territorial. 
La disidencia interna se castiga con la carcel y la tortura (los gulags sovieticos) o con el 
silenciamiento (la caza de brujas maccarthista en los Estados Unidos). Si el odio al rival no bastase 
para mantener unida a la nacion, existen otros metodos para hacerlo: el recurso a una figura 
carismatica, un lfder. Si aun asf ello no bastase, el poder dispone de suficientes medios de 
comunicacion y mecanismos ideologicos para anular todo vestigio de discrepancia. Si el equilibrio 
de poderes variase, si cambiasen las circunstancias o las alianzas, el sistema no puede permitirse el 
lujo de reconocer su error. Necesita, por tanto, modificar la realidad, hacer creer a la ciudadanfa que 
todo lo que sucede obedece al interes comun, que este siempre ha sido inmutable y que quien se 
atreva a desenmascarar las contradicciones surgidas a lo largo de este proceso es necesariamente 
antipatriota y, por tanto, merece ser castigado. El ciudadano tiene que aprender a pensar que el 




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enemigo de hoy, por muy odiado que sea, puede ser el aliado de manana; que lo que hoy es bianco 
manana puede ser negro. Si no se confia en la nacion y en el lfder, dificilmente se podra ganar la 
guerra contra el Otro, fin ultimo de la existencia del Estado. Si en el camino hay que prescindir de 
la verdad o adecuarla a la situacion existente, se hace. Si hay que hacer pequenas trampas mentales, 
mentirse a si mismos, tambien se hace. 

Este esquema resulta independiente de la forma de gobierno. En democracia o bajo una 
dictadura, el poder solo busca perpetuarse, y la superestructura ideologica es la mejor aliada de los 
mecanismos coercitivos. De este modo, Orwell no esta aventurando un futuro terrible, sino 
describiendo un modus operandi propio de un enfrentamiento entre bloques. Orwell, en primer 
lugar y como objetivo inmediato, critica toda forma de totalitarismo, en particular el comunismo 
estalinista, pero ya ha ido un paso mas alia de la denuncia efectuada en Rebelion en la granja. Su 
denuncia es mucho mas radical. Nos advierte en contra de todos los mecanismos de manipulacion 
de masas. Emplazando su distopfa en una Gran Bretana colonizada por los Estados Unidos da a 
entender que ninguna region del mundo escapa a la manipulacion. 

Orwell, por tanto, retrata la situacion del mundo en 1948, ano en que comenzo a escribir la 
novela. De hecho, 1984 es el resultado de invertir las dos ultimas cifras de aquel ano. Esta situacion 
persiste en la actualidad. La cafda del bloque comunista sovietico y el acercamiento de China a los 
postulados de la economla capitalista de mercado tal vez tracen un panorama geoestrategico 
distinto. El enemigo ha pasado a ser difuso, toda vez que el posible enfrentamiento entre mundo 
occidental y mundo arabe no parece ser tal (no olvidemos que los Estados Unidos y sus aliados 
cuentan con el apoyo de casi todos los gobiemos arabes y arrastran en su contra a casi toda la 
opinion piiblica de sus pafses). La amenaza ha pasado a ser generica, la lucha contra el terrorismo o 
el «eje del mal», tan solo existe una potencia que pueda ser considerada hegemonica. Este cuadro 
no tiene nada que ver con la situacion descrita por Orwell. Serfa muy facil ceder a la tentacion de 
considerar 1984 como una falsa profecfa. 

Y, sin embargo, las actitudes descritas por Orwell siguen ahf. No es necesario recurrir a la 
represion pura y dura para mantener cohesionada la sociedad. Una dictadura como las descritas por 
Orwell no es viable en una sociedad capitalista liberal. ^Por que? Pues porque existen mecanismos 
mas sutiles para sojuzgar a la ciudadanfa. 

El control social ha mutado. Se puede incrementar el recorte de los derechos civiles sin que ello 
suponga un coste electoral para las fuerzas que lo ponen en marcha: al fin y al cabo, se realizan para 
garantizar la libertad de los ciudadanos frente a amenazas exteriores (la guerra contra el terrorismo 
internacional) o intemas (la lucha contra el terrorismo local, la delincuencia y la inmigracion ilegal). 
No es necesario recurrir a la dictadura y las torturas no dejan de ser incidentes aislados y 
relativamente justificados por la Constitucion (solo cuando se produce la supresion de libertades 
individuals del ciudadano, para los supuestos de estado de excepcion y estado de sitio). Mediante 
los mecanismos democraticos y constitucionales, la ciudadanfa cede parte de su soberanfa al Estado, 
con la finalidad de proteger su integridad ffsica. 

Es en este punto donde la terminologfa de Orwell ha arraigado en la opinion piiblica. 1984 no 
solo describe una situacion existente, sino que proporciona las herramientas para dar nombre a 
determinados comportamientos descritos. Cuando decimos "el Gran Hermano te vigila", 
evidentemente no nos referimos al dictador benevolente y temible de la novela de Orwell, sino a la 
maquinaria estatal aplicada al escrutinio sistematico de los comportamientos del individuo. El Gran 
Hermano no es un partido politico o una persona, sino el Estado mismo. El Ministerio de Hacienda, 
que posee todos nuestros datos fiscales. El Ministerio del Interior, que posee todos nuestros 
historiales delictivos. El Ministerio de Sanidad, que posee todos nuestros historiales clfnicos. La 
Agencia de Proteccion de Datos, que posee la Have para que empresas, bancos y companfas de 
seguros sepan quienes somos, que comemos, que enfermedades padecemos, que situacion 
economica atravesamos... en resumen, la clave para conocernos mejor de lo que nosotros nos 
conocemos a nosotros mismos. Este es el Gran Hermano real y actual, una maquinaria puesta a 
nuestro servicio y, por tanto, mucho mas temible que el dictador de Orwell, puesto que existe y es 
inevitable. 



George Orwell 


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No es el unico punto de la realidad cotidiana en que el lenguaje orweliano se ha infiltrado en el 
habla coloquial. La manipulacion informativa a veces hace aflorar las referencias a Orwell y su 
obra. Cuando el politico de turno afirma como dogma de fe indiscutible una opinion que poco antes 
denigraba, la expresion doblepensar acude a nuestras mentes. Ya ha dejado de resultar extrano que 
expresiones que parecen salidas de 1984, tales como "la guerra es la paz", esten en boca de la clase 
dirigente y, peor aun, ya no nos extranen. Ya estan asumidas como parte indisoluble de su discurso 
politico. 


6. Conclusiones 

A modo de conclusion, ^que hay de 1984 en nuestro mundo actual? Parece ser que mucho, y mas 
de lo que quisieramos. La advertencia de Orwell parece haberse convertido en realidad, tal vez de 
una manera mas sutil y, por supuesto, menos lesiva para la sensacion de libertad individual. El 
futuro opresivo descrito por Orwell se ha convertido en un presente en el que impera la sensacion 
generalizada de libertad y comodidad, de utopia realizada, pero en realidad los mecanismos de 
control son los mismos. En resumen, la definition misma de distopia, tal como la enunciabamos en 
otro momento de esta conferencia. Una situation mas proxima a la distopia descrita por Aldous 
Huxley en Un mundo feliz, en la que la sumision de las masas pasaba ineludiblemente por el 
condicionamiento hipnagogico, las drogas de diseno y la sociedad de consumo; un modelo igual de 
impersonal que el de 1984, pero envuelto en una apariencia mucho mas humana y deseable. 
Motivos que hacen que la distopia de Aldous Huxley sea mucho mas temible que la de George 
Orwell. Pese a su fama, 1984 no nos presenta, ni de lejos, el peor de los futuros posibles. 

A decir verdad, es probable que 1984 ni siquiera sea el libro mas terrible de Orwell. Demasiado 
maniqueo, como por otra parte la mayorfa de su obra, carece de los matices de Rebelion en la 
granja y de la espontaneidad y vividez de Homenaje a Cataluna. Es demasiado poco sutil, y ello le 
hace perder parte de su pretendido efecto denuncia. Pese a que su fin ultimo es denunciar cualquier 
forma de totalitarismo, tanto los existentes en el momento de ser escrita como los que 
probablemente habrfan de surgir (siguiendo la cronologia interna de la novela, el Gran Hermano no 
aparece en la historia hasta los anos 60, con la revolucion ya consolidada), es asimismo una 
metafora demasiado transparente del estalinismo. El Gran Hermano es Stalin. Emmanuel Goldstein 
es Trotski, su archienemigo, su companero de revolucion, a la cual supuestamente traiciona. Orwell 
ha vivido la persecucion de las milicias trotstkistas del POUM durante su estancia en Cataluna y 
Aragon. Tambien sabe lo que es exponerse a la censura por divulgar opiniones opuestas al 
estalinismo. Todo ello lo convierte en un companero de viaje de Trotski. Aunque la ideologia de 
Orwell no era propiamente trotskista, el hecho de denunciar los excesos del estalinismo (en 
Homenaje a Cataluna, por la via del periodismo de denuncia; en Rebelion en la granja, mediante 
una fabula animal; en 1984, recurriendo al tremendismo), en la practica termina por servir a los 
intereses de Trotski. La crftica abierta de la represion de las milicias del POUM en Homenaje a 
Cataluna, la persecucion de Snowball en Rebelion en la granja y la introduction del personaje de 
Emmanuel Goldstein en 1984 son manifestaciones de un alineamiento inequivoco del lado de 
Trotski. 

O tal vez no. Del mismo modo que jamas vemos al Gran Hermano, es tan solo una referencia 
abstracta, una suerte de divinidad que encarna los valores fundamentales del Estado de Oceania, 
tampoco sabemos a ciencia cierta quien es ni como se comporta Emmanuel Goldstein. Las unicas 
manifestaciones de la existencia de Goldstein, aparte de la confusa Hermandad (en realidad, un 
cebo para atraer disidentes a las garras de la Policia del Pensamiento), es un texto completamente 
inocuo y meramente descriptivo del funcionamiento de Oceania y de las interioridades del Partido. 
Teona y practica del colectivismo oligdrquico apenas tiene elementos escandalosos; no es mas que 
un manual de divulgation. De hecho, podrfa ser un libro de texto para los cuadros del Partido 
Interior, ya convencidos de las bondades del regimen gracias al proceso del doblepensar. 



George Orwell 


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Ni el Gran Hermano ni Goldstein se nos muestran a lo largo de 1984. Tan solo disponemos de 
referencias inconcretas: el Gran Hermano es bueno, es la esencia y elemento unificador del Estado, 
es amor; Goldstein es malo, es el enemigo externo e intemo que amenaza con disgregar el Estado, 
es odio. Sin el uno, el otro no podrfa existir. El Gran Hermano necesita a Goldstein para que su 
dictadura y el estado de guerra perpetuo que su regimen mantiene adquieran algun sentido. 

Siguiendo la logica de la novela, el Gran Hermano tiene agentes muy poderosos encargados de 
perpetuar al Partido en el Poder. El Ministerio del Amor es el mas notable. Todo el peso del Estado 
se encamina a mantener a los subditos fuera del alcance de la nefasta influencia de Goldstein. 
O'Brien es el maximo ejemplo, capaz de tender una trampa a Winston y Julia para anularlos como 
personas, pues han caldo en el crimental. 

Ahora bien, ^cuales son los agentes de la Hermandad de Goldstein? En los Dos Minutos de Odio 
se proyectan imagenes de Goldstein, el enemigo eterno, sobre un fondo belico, la guerra que 
Oceania libra con Eurasia. Pero Goldstein no es el Gran Hermano eurasiatico, sus motivaciones 
pueden haberlo llevado a traicionar a su pals, probablemente se encuentre refugiado en Eurasia si 
con ello ayuda a derrocar al Gran Hermano, pero en ningun caso resulta crefble la idea de que 
domine los destinos de los eurasiaticos. Goldstein lucha contra el Gran Hermano (y, por ende, 
contra Oceania), pero no es un llder con poder efectivo. Segun la propaganda de guerra, es 
identificado con Eurasia, el actual enemigo de Oceania. Pero, como vemos al final de la novela, el 
enemigo de Oceania ya no es Eurasia sino Asia Oriental, y siempre ha sido el enemigo, el unico 
enemigo. Goldstein pasara entonces a ser un traidor vendido a Asia Oriental. Realmente hace falta 
un esfuerzo de doblepensamiento, al alcance de todos los miembros del Partido y muchos de los 
perfectos ciudadanos, para creer en estos vaivenes. Pero el combate contra el Gran Hermano no se 
desarrolla en el frente exterior, sino en la realidad cotidiana. La Hermandad es una organizacion que 
funciona dentro de Oceania. Necesita, pues, agentes infiltrados en la sociedad. 

^Quienes son estos agentes? Durante un tiempo, Winston y Julia. Son los unicos que conocemos. 
O'Brien les advierte de que tarde o temprano los detendran y sustituiran por otros, en una espiral 
aparentemente sin fin, en la que el crimental conduce irrevocablemente a la Hermandad, la 
Hermandad conduce irremediablemente al Ministerio del Amor (la temida habitacion 101) y el 
Ministerio del Amor conduce irremediablemente a la vaporizacion y la nopersona, el no ser, el no 
haber existido nunca. "Tu no existes", replica O'Brien a Winston en un momento de su lavado de 
cerebro. 

O'Brien. Siempre O'Brien. El agente secreto de la Policla del Pensamiento. El amigo de Winston 
que se le aparece en suenos para inducirlo al crimental. El agente de la Hermandad. 

Gran Hermano. Hermandad. O'Brien. Tres vertices de un triangulo. Una persona que, en 
apariencia, actua como agente doble. Aunque, si nos detenemos a pensar, se trata de un pesimo 
agente doble, pues siempre, inevitablemente, los agentes que gana para la causa de la Hermandad 
(Goldstein) terminan siendo torturados por el mismo en el Ministerio de la Verdad. 

La pregunta que uno se plantea es: ^Existe verdaderamente Emmanuel Goldstein? ^No se tratara 
de un cebo que las autoridades ponen a disposicion de los incautos cuyas convicciones flaquean y, 
no siempre por su propia voluntad, incurren en el crimental? Goldstein es el enemigo del Gran 
Hermano, resulta evidente que su naturaleza ha sido desvirtuada por la propaganda del regimen para 
convertirlo tambien en el enemigo de Oceania, en la encarnacion de todos sus males. El juramento 
que Winston y Julia realizan de sumision a la Hermandad es una declaracion de guerra al Estado. Si 
la naturaleza de Goldstein ha sido desvirtuada tras su presunta huida de Oceania; si nada de lo que 
asegura la propaganda es cierto; si nadie ha visto a Goldstein y sus unicos agentes son en realidad 
miembros de la policla secreta del regimen, <;,quc nos impide pensar que en realidad Goldstein es 
una fabulacion, un invento del regimen, un archienemigo disenado para glorificar por defecto al 
Gran Hermano y para cazar a los disidentes? Es probable que en el pasado existiera un Emmanuel 
Goldstein, que se enfrentase con el Gran Hermano y que tuviese que huir de Oceania; pero de ahl a 
suponer que ejerza una influencia decisiva en la lucha contra el regimen media todo un abismo. 
Sabemos que el trotskismo no influyo en la lucha interna contra el estalinismo. Habla otras fuerzas 
(religiosas, nacionalistas, clvicas) que, indiscutiblemente apoyadas desde el exterior (por el 



George Orwell 


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20 


Vaticano, Iran y los Estados Unidos), encabezaron la democratizacion e independencia de las 
republicas que componran la URSS. Pero en ningun momento hubo ningun partido trotskista que 
interviniese de forma directa en este proceso. Y, sin embargo, durante muchos anos la propaganda 
oficial estalinista se encargo de culpar a conciencia a Trotski, al traidor, de todos los males de la 
Nacion. Orwell no vivio para ver este proceso, pero la logica planteada en 1984 es la misma. 
Goldstein es el enemigo oficial, pero en la practica no es relevante para derrocar el regimen. No 
cuenta con agentes, los que se presentan como miembros de la Hermandad son en realidad sicarios 
del Gran Hermano, y su ideologra es casi inexistente, apenas un punado de obviedades. Las 
esperanzas de Winston siempre estuvieron puestas en los proles, los miembros de la sociedad mas 
ajenos a las proclamas del Gran Hermano, algunos de ellos incluso conscientes de que hubo un 
pasado anterior al Gran Hermano en el que existra un nivel de vida equiparable o superior al actual. 
Para ellos, en cierto modo el Gran Hermano no existe. 

Porque esta es la pregunta fundamental: £ existe el Gran Hermano? El Gran Hermano irrumpe en 
la historia de Oceania en un momento inconcreto. Winston cree recordar que en tomo a la decada de 
los 60, veinte anos antes de la fecha en que transcurre la novela. A diferencia de Goldstein, el Gran 
Hermano no participo en la Revolucion, al menos con ese titulo. El Gran Hermano no realiza 
apariciones en publico. Es glorificado, es el lrder, el conductor del ejercito hacia la victoria sobre el 
enemigo externo, el garante de la victoria sobre la disidencia interna, el caudillo que proporciono 
todos los adelantos cientificos y tecnicos conocidos a sus amantrsimos hijos, es el padre, es el dios. 
Pero nadie recuerda haberlo visto en persona. Nadie recuerda en que momento aparecio en la vida 
publica. No tiene un origen definido, es un ser casi mrtico sin historia, en una sociedad que, gracias 
a la manipulacion ideologica e informativa, sabe que la historia no existe, que lo que hoy es manana 
no sera, no habra sido nunca. 

^ Existe el Gran Hermano? La pregunta es difrcil de responder. Tal vez si, tal vez no. Existe 
Goldstein? Por lo que hemos visto, es cierto que en un pasado remoto existio un Emmanuel 
Goldstein, pero no es el mismo contra el que alertan las autoridades, pues el Goldstein actual no 
existe, es una mera invencion, una herramienta represora mas. Tenemos, pues, a un Goldstein que 
en el pasado existio pero en la actualidad es solo un nombre, una franquicia que encama al mal, y a 
un Gran Hermano, su opuesto, que no tiene pasado, nadie sabe en que momento aparecio en escena 
y representa todos los valores positivos de la sociedad. Todas las atrocidades represoras se cometen 
en nombre del Gran Hermano. Todas las atrocidades que conducen a la represion se cometen en 
nombre de Goldstein. Sin las primeras, no se podrran justificar las segundas, que son la razon de ser 
del Regimen. Goldstein y el Gran Hermano se necesitan mutuamente y, si el primero no existe, £por 
que habrfa de hacerlo el segundo? O son la misma persona o no son ninguna persona en absoluto. 
La decision queda a la libre interpretacion de cada cual. 

Segun leemos en Teona y practica del colectivismo oligdrquico, es probable que Eurasia y Asia 
Oriental tengan sus propios Grandes Hermanos (y, suponemos, sus Goldstein particulares). En un 
ejercicio de imaginacion, podemos suponer que si Eurasia es la evolucion logica de una Europa 
continental invadida por la Union Sovietica, ambos papeles correspondan a los propios Stalin y 
Trotski, respectivamente. Lo cual nos lleva a preguntarnos si Stalin y Trotski, de manera analoga al 
Gran Hermano y Goldstein, existen en realidad. Y, mas alia, si existen la propia guerra en la que se 
sustentan el Gran Hermano y su regimen o incluso si existen los tres grandes bloques que pugnan en 
esa guerra. 

Queda un ultimo punto por analizar. 1984 es la historia de la resistencia de un individuo, 
Winston, a ser absorbido por todo un sistema. En toda distopra que se precie, este intento esta 
abocado al fracaso. El D-503 de Nosotros es reinsertado en la comunidad. Bernard Marx y el 
Salvaje de Un mundo feliz padecen destinos diferentes, pero ambos se saldan con derrota: el 
primero es deportado a Islandia, el segundo se ahorca ante su desesperacion por la sociedad perfecta 
descrita por Huxley. Winston y Julia se traicionan mutuamente y a ellos mismos y son vaporizados 
en 1984. Toda forma de lucha del individuo frente al sistema represor es una quijotada que no 
puede acabar bien. Frente a ello, solo cabe una opcion: integrarse en la multitud, de modo que no 
puedan anularte como persona. Si no piensas como la masa, al menos camiiflatc bien entre ella. En 



George Orwell 


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21 


cierto modo, es el destino al que estan abocados los heroes solitarios de las novelas de aventuras (el 
senor Kurtz de El corazon de las tinieblas, de Joseph Conrad, ha de ser eliminado como castigo a su 
heterodoxia) y terror (el Robert Neville de Soy leyenda, de Richard Matheson, termina convertido 
en un monstruo: es el unico ser humano vivo entre una sociedad de vampiros; el es el extrano, el 
que debe ser eliminado). Las distopias radicales del periodo clasico de este subgenero no nos 
ofrecen ninguna solucion, se limitan a recordamos que el empeno es inutil. 

Ahora bien, cabe preguntarse si en realidad Winston Smith es derrotado. 1984 concluye con la 
derrota de Winston, con su lavado de cerebro y reinsercion momentanea en la vida laboral, presagio 
de una pronta vaporizacion. Sin embargo, Orwell ofrece un post-scriptum, el ensayo titulado "Los 
principios de la neolengua", en el que teoriza acerca de lo que hemos visto en la novela. 
Comprendemos el funcionamiento de la neolengua, su estratificacion en niveles de dificultad, tanto 
mas desarrollados cuanto mas elevado el nivel de jerarquia dentro del Partido. Desde el punto de 
vista de un filologo, sin duda resulta una lectura fascinante. Para el interesado en la sociologia y en 
la polftica, tambien. Para el aprendiz de literato, es un modelo de construccion de un universo 
narrativo coherente. Para el conferenciante empenado en sacarle punta a la novela, arroja las claves 
que necesitamos para descubrir un hecho que tal vez pasara desapercibido para los lectores: es 
posible que el regimen del Gran Hermano haya sido derrotado. Orwell nos ofrece indicios que 
apuntan en esta direccion. Bien es cierto que son indicios un tanto inconsistentes, pero merece la 
pena pensar en ellos. 

Para empezar, este apendice esta escrito bajo la forma de un ensayo. La tercera persona del 
narrador, implicado en la historia que relata, desaparece para dar paso a una tercera persona 
completamente aseptica, ajena a la novela: tan solo se nos ofrece un ensayo sobre lingihstica. Lo 
habitual en la literatura especulativa, cuyo marco temporal se desarrolla en el futuro del lector, es 
recurrir a este tipo de ensayos para aclarar algunos aspectos confusos o no suficientemente 
desarrollados en la narracion. Orwell recurre, pues, a este subterfugio para explicamos el 
funcionamiento de la neolengua. El ensayo comienza asi: 

"La neolengua era la lengua oficial de Oceania y fue creada para solucionar las necesidades 
ideologicas del Ingsoc o Socialismo Ingles. En el ano 1984 aun no habia nadie que utilizara la 
neolengua como elemento unico de comunicacion, ni hablado ni escrito. (...) Se esperaba que la 
neolengua reemplazara a la vieja lengua (o ingles corriente, dirfamos nosotros) hacia el ano 2050." 

En apariencia se trata de un texto muy aseptico. Demasiado, de hecho. Sin embargo, <mio llama la 
atencion el empleo de tiempos verbales? La toma de partido de Orwell en la novela hace mas 
llamativa esta asepsia. El recurso al tiempo verbal con que se narran los orfgenes de la neolengua, 
sin embargo, resulta muy revelador. Segun la logica de 1984, Winston cae, la resistencia es 
aplastada una vez mas, la maquinaria estatal se comporta como la bota que pisa indefinidamente 
cuantos rostros humanos se le interpongan. El Partido triunfa y esta mas cerca de lograr sus 
objetivos: mantenerse en el poder perpetuamente, borrar la corriente temporal, controlar el futuro. 
Orwell deberia narrar el desarrollo de la neolengua desde un futuro en el que el Partido ha 
conseguido sus objetivos, pues el final de la novela es meridianamente claro: el Partido ha triunfado 
sobre Winston y Julia. Sin embargo, "Los principios de neolengua" matizan este discurso. Para 
empezar, Orwell escribe el ensayo en ingles. Quiere decirse con esto que en el futuro desde el que 
Orwell escribe el ensayo, posterior al ano 1984, las referencias a la neolengua estan escritas en 
ingles corriente, no en neolengua. De la neolengua se nos precisa que era la lengua oficial de 
Oceania y que estaba prevista su completa implantacion antes del 2050. Aunque parezca una 
perogrullada, no se nos afirma que la neolengua sea la lengua oficial de Oceania en el momento, 
posterior a los sucesos narrados en la novela, en que esta escrito el ensayo. Se habia de la neolengua 
en pasado, asi como del calendario fijado para su implantacion. Podemos suponer, por tanto, que la 
neolengua ya no existe. Lo cual nos permite suponer, solo suponer, que el empeno del Gran 
Hermano y del Ingsoc de implantar una lengua artificial ha fracasado. Lo cual nos lleva a suponer, 
solo suponer, que tal vez con el derrumbe de este empeno faraonico se vino abajo todo el edificio en 
que se sustentaba el sistema. Orwell nos esta ofreciendo un indicio razonable de que se puede 
luchar contra el Gran Hermano y, quien sabe, quiza derrotarlo. 



George Orwell 


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22 


PART ONE 


Chapter 1 

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks 
were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin 
nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the 
vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass 
doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly 
enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from 
entering along with him. 

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag 
mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large 
for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It 
depicted simply an enormous face, more than a 
metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, 
with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly 
handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. 
It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of 
times it was seldom working, and at present the 
electric current was cut off during daylight hours. 
It was part of the economy drive in preparation 
for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and 
Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose 
ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting 
several times on the way. On each landing, 
opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the 
enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of 
those pictures which are so contrived that the 
eyes follow you about when you move. BIG 
BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption 
beneath it ran. 


Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list 
of figures which had something to do with the 
production of pig-iron. The voice came from an 
oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which 
formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. 
Winston turned a switch and the voice sank 
somewhat, though the words were still 
distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it 
was called) could be dimmed, but there was no 
way of shutting it off completely. He moved over 
to the window: a smallish, frail figure, the 
meagreness of his body merely emphasized by 


PRIMERA PARTE 
CAPfTULO I 


Era un dia luminoso y frfo de abril y los relojes 
daban las trece. Winston Smith, con la barbilla 
clavada en el pecho en su esfuerzo por burlar el 
molestisimo viento, se deslizo rapidamente por 
entre las puertas de cristal de las Casas de la 
Victoria, aunque no con la suficiente rapidez para 
evitar que una rafaga polvorienta se colara con el. 

El vestfbulo olia a legumbres cocidas y a esteras 
viejas. A1 fondo, un cartel de colores, demasiado 
grande para hallarse en un interior, estaba pegado a 
la pared. Representaba solo un enorme rostro de 
mas de un metro de anchura: la cara de un hombre 
de unos cuarenta y cinco anos con un gran bigote 
negro y facciones hermosas y endurecidas. Winston 
se dirigio hacia las escaleras. Era inutil intentar 
subir en el ascensor. No funcionaba con frecuencia 
y en esta epoca la corriente se cortaba durante las 
horas de dia. Esto era parte de las restricciones con 
que se preparaba la Semana del Odio. Winston tenia 
que subir a un septimo piso. Con sus treinta y nueve 
anos y una ulcera de varices por encima del tobillo 
derecho, subio lentamente, descansando varias 
veces. En cada descansillo, frente a la puerta del 
ascensor, el cartelon del enorme rostro miraba desde 
el muro. Era uno de esos dibujos realizados de tal 
manera que los ojos le siguen a uno adondequiera 
que este. EL GRAN HERMANO TE VIGILA, 
decian las palabras al pie. 

Dentro del piso una voz llena leia una lista de 
numeros que tenian algo que ver con la produccion 
de lingotes de hierro. La voz salia de una placa 
oblonga de metal, una especie de espejo empenado, 
que formaba parte de la superficie de la pared 
situada a la derecha. Winston hizo funcionar su 
regulador y la voz disminuyo de volumen aunque 
las palabras seguian distinguiendose. El instrumento 
(llamado telepantalla ) podia ser amortiguado, pero 
no habia manera de cerrarlo del todo. Winston fue 
hacia la ventana: una figura pequena y fragil cuya 
delgadez resultaba realzada por el «mono» azul. 



George Orwell 


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23 


the blue overalls which were the uniform of the 
party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally 
sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and 
blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that 
had just ended. 

Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the 
world looked cold. Down in the street little 
eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper 
into spirals, and though the sun was shining and 
the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no 
colour in anything, except the posters that were 
plastered everywhere. The black-moustachio'd 
face gazed down from every commanding corner. 
There was one on the house-front immediately 
opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING 
YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes 
looked deep into Winston's own. Down at street 
level another poster, torn at one corner, flapped 
fitfully in the wind, alternately covering and 
uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far 
distance a helicopter skimmed down between the 
roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, 
and darted away again with a curving flight. It 
was the police patrol, snooping into people's 
windows. The patrols did not matter, however. 
Only the Thought Police mattered. 


Behind Winston's back the voice from the 
telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron 
and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three- Year 
Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted 
simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, 
above the level of a very low whisper, would be 
picked up by it, moreover, so long as he 
remained within the field of vision which the 
metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as 
well as heard. There was of course no way of 
knowing whether you were being watched at any 
given moment. How often, or on what system, 
the Thought Police plugged in on any individual 
wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable 
that they watched everybody all the time. But at 
any rate they could plug in your wire whenever 
they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from 
habit that became instinct — in the assumption 
that every sound you made was overheard, and, 


uniforme del Partido. Tenia el cabello muy rubio, 
una cara sanguinea y la piel embastecida por un 
jabon malo, las romas hojas de afeitar y el frfo de un 
invierno que acababa de terminar. 


Afuera, incluso a traves de los ventanales cerrados, 
el mundo parecia frfo. Calle abajo se formaban 
pequenos torbellinos de viento y polvo; los papeles 
rotos subian en espirales y, aunque el sol lucia y el 
cielo estaba intensamente azul, nada parecia tener 
color a no ser los carteles pegados por todas partes. 
La cara de los bigotes negros miraba desde todas las 
esquinas que dominaban la circulacion. En la casa 
de enfrente habia uno de estos cartelones. EL 
GRAN HERMANO TE VIGILA, decian las 
grandes letras, mientras los sombrfos ojos miraban 
fijamente a los de Winston. En la calle, en linea 
vertical con aquel, habia otro cartel roto por un pico, 
que flameaba espasmodicamente azotado por el 
viento, descubriendo y cubriendo alternativamente 
una sola palabra: INGSOC. A lo lejos, un autogiro 
pasaba entre los tejados, se quedaba un instante 
colgado en el aire y luego se lanzaba otra vez en un 
vuelo curvo. Era de la patrulla de policia encargada 
de vigilar a la gente a traves de los balcones y 
ventanas. Sin embargo, las patrullas eran lo de 
menos. Lo que importaba verdaderamente era la 
Policia del Pensamiento. 


A la espalda de Winston, la voz de la telepantalla 
seguia murmurando datos sobre el hierro y el 
cumplimiento del noveno Plan Trienal. La 
telepantalla recibia y transmitia simultaneamente. 
Cualquier sonido que hiciera Winston superior a un 
susurro, era captado por el aparato. Ademas, 
mientras permaneciera dentro del radio de vision de 
la placa de metal, podia ser visto a la vez que oido. 
Por supuesto, no habia manera de saber si le 
contemplaban a uno en un momento dado. Lo unico 
posible era figurarse la frecuencia y el plan que 
empleaba la Policia del Pensamiento para controlar 
un hilo privado. Incluso se concebia que los 
vigilaran a todos a la vez. Pero, desde luego, podian 
intervenir su linea de usted cada vez que se les 
antojara. Tenia usted que vivir — y en esto el habito 
se convertia en un instinto — con la seguridad de 
que cualquier sonido emitido por usted seria 
registrado y escuchado por alguien y que, excepto 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


24 


except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. en la oscuridad, todos sus movimientos serfan 

observados. 


Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It Winston se mantuvo de espaldas a la telepantalla. 
was safer; though, as he well knew, even a back Asf era mas seguro; aunque, como el sabia muy 
can be revealing. A kilometre away the Ministry bien, incluso una espalda podia ser reveladora. A un 
of Truth, his place of work, towered vast and kilometro de distancia, el Ministerio de la Verdad, 
white above the grimy landscape. This, he donde trabajaba Winston, se elevaba inmenso y 
thought with a sort of vague distaste — this was bianco sobre el sombrio paisaje. «Esto es Londres», 
London, chief city of Airstrip One, itself the third penso con una sensacion vaga de disgusto; Londres, 
most populous of the provinces of Oceania. He principal ciudad de la Franja aerea 1, que era a su 
tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that vez la tercera de las provincias mas pobladas de 
should tell him whether London had always been Oceania. Trato de exprimirse de la memoria algun 
quite like this. Were there always these vistas of recuerdo infantil que le dijera si Londres habia sido 
rotting nineteenth-century houses, their sides siempre asi. ( ;,Hubo siempre estas vistas de 
shored up with baulks of timber, their windows decrepitas casas decimononicas, con los costados 
patched with cardboard and their roofs with revestidos de madera, las ventanas tapadas con 
corrugated iron, their crazy garden walls sagging carton, los techos remendados con planchas de cine 
in all directions? And the bombed sites where the acanalado y trozos sueltos de tapias de antiguos 
plaster dust swirled in the air and the willow-herb jardines? [Y los lugares bombardeados, cuyos 
straggled over the heaps of rubble; and the places restos de yeso y cemento revoloteaban pulverizados 
where the bombs had cleared a larger patch and en el aire, y el cesped amontonado, y los lugares 
there had sprung up sordid colonies of wooden donde las bombas habian abierto claros de mayor 
dwellings like chicken-houses? But it was no use, extension y habian surgido en ellos sordidas 
he could not remember: nothing remained of his colonias de chozas de madera que parecian 
childhood except a series of bright-lit tableaux gallineros? Pero era inutil, no podia recordar: nada 
occurring against no background and mostly le quedaba de su infancia excepto una serie de 
unintelligible. cuadros brillantemente iluminados y sin fondo, que 

en su mayoria le resultaban ininteligibles. 

The Ministry of Truth — Minitrue, in Newspeak El Ministerio de la Verdad — que en neolengua 1 se 
[Newspeak was the official language of Oceania, le llamaba el Miniver — era diferente, hasta un 
For an account of its structure and etymology see extremo asombroso, de cualquier otro objeto que se 
Appendix.] — was startlingly different from any presentara a la vista. Era una enorme estructura 
other object in sight. It was an enormous piramidal de cemento armado bianco y reluciente, 
pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, que se elevaba, terraza tras terraza, a unos 
soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into trescientos metros de altura. Desde donde Winston 
the air. From where Winston stood it was just se hallaba, podfan leerse, adheridas sobre su blanca 
possible to read, picked out on its white face in fachada en letras de elegante forma, las tres 
elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party: consignas del Partido: 


WAR IS PEACE LA GUERRA ES LA PAZ 

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY LA LIBERTAD ES LA ESCLAVITUD 

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH LA IGNORANCIA ES LA FUERZA 

1 Era el idioma oficial de Oceania 



George Orwell 


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25 


The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, 
three thousand rooms above ground level, and 
corresponding ramifications below. Scattered 
about London there were just three other 
buildings of similar appearance and size. So 
completely did they dwarf the surrounding 
architecture that from the roof of Victory 
Mansions you could see all four of them 
simultaneously. They were the homes of the four 
Ministries between which the entire apparatus of 
government was divided. The Ministry of Truth, 
which concerned itself with news, entertainment, 
education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of 
Peace, which concerned itself with war. The 
Ministry of Love, which maintained law and 
order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was 
responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in 
Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and 
Miniplenty. 

The Ministry of Love was the really frightening 
one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston 
had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor 
within half a kilometre of it. It was a place 
impossible to enter except on official business, 
and then only by penetrating through a maze of 
barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and 
hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets 
leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by 
gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed 
with jointed truncheons. 


Se decra que el Ministerio de la Verdad tenra tres 
mil habitaciones sobre el nivel del suelo y las 
correspondientes ramificaciones en el subsuelo. En 
Londres solo habfa otros tres edificios del mismo 
aspecto y tamano. Estos aplastaban de tal manera la 
arquitectura de los alrededores que desde el techo 
de las Casas de la Victoria se podfan distinguir, a la 
vez, los cuatro edificios. En ellos estaban instalados 
los cuatro Ministerios entre los cuales se dividfa 
todo el sistema gubernamental. El Ministerio de la 
Verdad, que se dedicaba a las noticias, a los 
espectaculos, la educacion y las bellas artes. El 
Ministerio de la Paz, para los asuntos de guerra. El 
Ministerio del Amor, encargado de mantener la ley 
y el orden. Y el Ministerio de la Abundancia, al que 
correspondfan los asuntos economicos. Sus 
nombres, en neolengua: Miniver , Minipax, Minimor 
y Minindantia. 


El Ministerio del Amor era terrorffico. No tenra 
ventanas en absoluto. Winston nunca habfa estado 
dentro del Minimor, ni siquiera se habfa acercado a 
medio kilometro de el. Era imposible entrar allf a no 
ser por un asunto oficial y en ese caso habfa que 
pasar por un laberinto de caminos rodeados de 
alambre espinoso, puertas de acero y ocultos nidos 
de ametralladoras. Incluso las calles que conducfan 
a sus salidas extremas, estaban muy vigiladas por 
guardias, con caras de gorila y uniformes negros, 
armados con porras. 


Winston turned round abruptly. He had set his Winston se volvio de pronto. Habfa adquirido su 
features into the expression of quiet optimism rostro instantaneamente la expresion de tranquilo 
which it was advisable to wear when facing the optimismo que era prudente llevar al enfrentarse 
telescreen. He crossed the room into the tiny con la telepantalla. Cruzo la habitacion hacia la 
kitchen. By leaving the Ministry at this time of diminuta cocina. Por haber salido del Ministerio a 
day he had sacrificed his lunch in the canteen, esta hora tuvo que renunciar a almorzar en la 
and he was aware that there was no food in the cantina y en seguida comprobo que no le quedaban 
kitchen except a hunk of dark-coloured bread vfveres en la cocina a no ser un mendrugo de pan 
which had got to be saved for tomorrow's muy oscuro que debfa guardar para el desayuno del 
breakfast. He took down from the shelf a bottle dfa siguiente. Tomo de un estante una botella de un 
of colourless liquid with a plain white label lfquido incoloro con una sencilla etiqueta que decra: 
marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily Ginebra de la Victoria. Aquello olfa a medicina, 
smell, as of Chinese rice-spirit. Winston poured algo asf como el espfritu de arroz chino. Winston se 
out nearly a teacupful, nerved himself for a sirvio una tacita, se preparo los nervios para el 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


26 


shock, and gulped it down like a dose of 
medicine. 


Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran 
out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and 
moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation 
of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber 
club. The next moment, however, the burning in 
his belly died down and the world began to look 
more cheerful. He took a cigarette from a 
crumpled packet marked VICTORY 
CIGARETTES and incautiously held it upright, 
whereupon the tobacco fell out on to the floor. 
With the next he was more successful. He went 
back to the living-room and sat down at a small 
table that stood to the left of the telescreen. From 
the table drawer he took out a penholder, a bottle 
of ink, and a thick, quarto-sized blank book with 
a red back and a marbled cover. 


For some reason the telescreen in the living-room 
was in an unusual position. Instead of being 
placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it 
could command the whole room, it was in the 
longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of 
it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston 
was now sitting, and which, when the flats were 
built, had probably been intended to hold 
bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and 
keeping well back, Winston was able to remain 
outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight 
went. He could be heard, of course, but so long 
as he stayed in his present position he could not 
be seen. It was partly the unusual geography of 
the room that had suggested to him the thing that 
he was now about to do. 


But it had also been suggested by the book that 
he had just taken out of the drawer. It was a 
peculiarly beautiful book. Its smooth creamy 
paper, a little yellowed by age, was of a kind that 
had not been manufactured for at least forty years 
past. He could guess, however, that the book was 
much older than that. He had seen it lying in the 
window of a frowsy little junk-shop in a slummy 
quarter of the town (just what quarter he did not 
now remember) and had been stricken 


choque, y se lo trago de un golpe como si se lo 
hubieran recetado. 


A1 momento, se le volvio roja la cara y los ojos 
empezaron a llorarle. Este liquido era como acido 
nitrico; ademas, al tragarlo, se tenia la misma 
sensacion que si le dieran a uno un golpe en la nuca 
con una porra de goma. Sin embargo, unos 
segundos despues, desaparecia la incandescencia 
del vientre y el mundo empezaba a resultar mas 
alegre. Winston saco un cigarrillo de una cajetilla 
sobre la cual se leia: Cigarrillos de la Victoria, y 
como lo tenia cogido verticalmente por distraccion, 
se le vacio en el suelo. Con el proximo pitillo tuvo 
ya cuidado y el tabaco no se salio. Volvio al cuarto 
de estar y se sento ante una mesita situada a la 
izquierda de la telepantalla. Del cajon saco un 
portaplumas, un tintero y un grueso libro en bianco 
de tamano in — quarto, con el lomo rojo y cuyas 
tapas de carton imitaban el marmol. 

Por alguna razon la telepantalla del cuarto de estar 
se encontraba en una posicion insolita. En vez de 
hallarse colocada, como era normal, en la pared del 
fondo, desde donde podria dominar toda la 
habitacion, estaba en la pared mas larga, frente a la 
ventana. A un lado de ella habia una alcoba que 

apenas tenia fondo, en la que se habia instalado 

ahora Winston. Era un hueco que, al ser construido 
el edificio, habrfa sido calculado seguramente para 
alacena o biblioteca. Sentado en aquel hueco y 
situandose lo mas dentro posible, Winston podia 
mantenerse fuera del alcance de la telepantalla en 
cuanto a la visualidad, ya que no podia evitar que 
oyera sus ruidos. En parte, fue la misma 

distribucion insolita del cuarto lo que le indujo a lo 
que ahora se disponia a hacer. 

Pero tambien se lo habia sugerido el libro que 
acababa de sacar del cajon. Era un libro 

excepcionalmente bello. Su papel, suave y cremoso, 
un poco amarillento por el paso del tiempo, por lo 
menos hacia cuarenta anos que no se fabricaba. Sin 
embargo, Winston suponia que el libro tenia 
muchos anos mas. Lo habia visto en el escaparate 
de un establecimiento de compraventa en un barrio 
miserable de la ciudad (no recordaba exactamente 
en que barrio habia sido) y en el mismisimo instante 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


27 


immediately by an overwhelming desire to 
possess it. Party members were supposed not to 
go into ordinary shops ('dealing on the free 
market', it was called), but the rule was not 
strictly kept, because there were various things, 
such as shoelaces and razor blades, which it was 
impossible to get hold of in any other way. He 
had given a quick glance up and down the street 
and then had slipped inside and bought the book 
for two dollars fifty. At the time he was not 
conscious of wanting it for any particular 
purpose. He had carried it guiltily home in his 
briefcase. Even with nothing written in it, it was 
a compromising possession. 


The thing that he was about to do was to open a 
diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, 
since there were no longer any laws), but if 
detected it was reasonably certain that it would 
be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five 
years in a forced-labour camp. Winston fitted a 
nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the 
grease off. The pen was an archaic instrument, 
seldom used even for signatures, and he had 
procured one, furtively and with some difficulty, 
simply because of a feeling that the beautiful 
creamy paper deserved to be written on with a 
real nib instead of being scratched with an ink- 
pencil. Actually he was not used to writing by 
hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usual to 
dictate everything into the speak- write which was 
of course impossible for his present purpose. He 
dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for 
just a second. A tremor had gone through his 
bowels. To mark the paper was the decisive act. 
In small clumsy letters he wrote: 


April 4th, 1984. 


He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness 
had descended upon him. To begin with, he did 
not know with any certainty that this was 1984. It 


en que lo vio, sintio un irreprimible deseo de 
poseerlo. Los miembros del Partido no deben entrar 
en las tiendas corrientes (a esto se le llamaba, en 
tono de severa censura, «traficar en el mercado 
libre»), pero no se acataba rigurosamente esta 
prohibicion porque habfa varios objetos como 
cordones para los zapatos y hojas de afeitar — que 
era imposible adquirir de otra manera. Winston, 
antes de entrar en la tienda, habfa mirado en ambas 
direcciones de la calle para asegurarse de que no 
venfa nadie y, en pocos minutos, adquirio el libro 
por dos dolares cincuenta. En aquel momento no 
sabfa exactamente para que deseaba el libro. 
Sintiendose culpable se lo habfa llevado a su casa, 
guardado en su cartera de mano. Aunque estuviera 
en bianco, era comprometido guardar aquel libro. 


Lo que ahora se disponfa Winston a hacer era abrir 
su Diario. Esto no se consideraba ilegal (en 
realidad, nada era ilegal, ya que no existfan leyes), 
pero si lo detenfan podfa estar seguro de que lo 
condenarfan a muerte, o por lo menos a veinticinco 
anos de trabajos forzados. Winston puso un plumfn 
en el portaplumas y lo chupo primero para quitarle 
la grasa. La pluma era ya un instrumento arcaico. Se 
usaba rarfsimas veces, ni siquiera para firmar, pero 
el se habfa procurado una, furtivamente y con 
mucha dificultad, simplemente porque tenfa la 
sensacion de que el bello papel cremoso merecfa 
una pluma de verdad en vez de ser rascado con un 
lapiz tinta. Pero lo malo era que no estaba 
acostumbrado a escribir a mano. Aparte de las notas 
muy breves, lo corriente era dictarselo todo al 
hablescribe, totalmente inadecuado para las 
circunstancias actuales. Mojo la pluma en la tinta y 
luego dudo unos instantes. En los intestinos se le 
habfa producido un ruido que podfa delatarle. El 
acto trascendental, decisivo, era marcar el papel. En 
una letra pequena e inhabil escribio: 


4 de abril de 1984 


Se echo hacia atras en la silla. Estaba absolutamente 
desconcertado. Lo primero que no sabfa con certeza 
era si aquel era, de verdad, el ano 1984. Desde 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


28 


must be round about that date, since he was fairly 
sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed 
that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but it was 
never possible nowadays to pin down any date 
within a year or two. 


For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to 
wonder, was he writing this diary? For the future, 
for the unborn. His mind hovered for a moment 
round the doubtful date on the page, and then 
fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak 
word DOUBLETHINK. For the first time the 
magnitude of what he had undertaken came home 
to him. How could you communicate with the 
future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the 
future would resemble the present, in which case 
it would not listen to him: or it would be different 
from it, and his predicament would be 
meaningless. 


For some time he sat gazing stupidly at the paper. 
The telescreen had changed over to strident 
military music. It was curious that he seemed not 
merely to have lost the power of expressing 
himself, but even to have forgotten what it was 
that he had originally intended to say. For weeks 
past he had been making ready for this moment, 
and it had never crossed his mind that anything 
would be needed except courage. The actual 
writing would be easy. All he had to do was to 
transfer to paper the interminable restless 
monologue that had been running inside his head, 
literally for years. At this moment, however, 
even the monologue had dried up. Moreover his 
varicose ulcer had begun itching unbearably. He 
dared not scratch it, because if he did so it always 
became inflamed. The seconds were ticking by. 
He was conscious of nothing except the 
blankness of the page in front of him, the itching 
of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the 
music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin. 


Suddenly he began writing in sheer panic, only 
imperfectly aware of what he was setting down. 
His small but childish handwriting straggled up 


luego, la fecha habia de ser aquella muy 
aproximadamente, puesto que el habia nacido en 
1944 o 1945, segun creia; pero, «jcualquiera va a 
saber hoy en que ano vive!», se decia Winston. 


Y se le ocurrio de pronto preguntarse: <;,Para que 
estaba escribiendo el este diario? Para el futuro, 
para los que aun no habian nacido. Su mente se 
poso durante unos momentos en la fecha que habia 
escrito a la cabecera y luego se le presento, 
sobresaltandose terriblemente, la palabra 
neolingiiistica doblepensar. Por primera vez 
comprendio la magnitud de lo que se proponia 
hacer. ^Como iba a comunicar con el futuro? Esto 
era imposible por su misma naturaleza. Una de dos: 
o el futuro se parecia al presente y entonces no le 
haria ningun caso, o seria una cosa distinta y, en tal 
caso, lo que el dijera carecerfa de todo sentido para 
ese futuro. 


Durante algiin tiempo permanecio contemplando 
estupidamente el papel. La telepantalla transmitia 
ahora estridente musica militar. Es curioso: Winston 
no solo parecia haber perdido la facultad de 
expresarse, sino haber olvidado de que iba a 
ocuparse. Por espacio de varias semanas se habia 
estado preparando para este momento y no se le 
habia ocurrido pensar que para realizar esa tarea se 
necesitara algo mas que atrevimiento. El hecho 
mismo de expresarse por escrito, creia el, le seria 
muy facil. Solo tenia que trasladar al papel el 
interminable e inquieto monologo que desde hacia 
muchos anos venia corriendose por la cabeza. Sin 
embargo, en este momento hasta el monologo se le 
habia secado. Ademas, sus varices habian empezado 
a escocerle insoportablemente. No se atrevia a 
rascarse porque siempre que lo hacia se le 
inflamaba aquello. Transcurrfan los segundos y el 
solo tenia conciencia de la blancura del papel ante 
sus ojos, el absoluto vacio de esta blancura, el 
escozor de la piel sobre el tobillo, el estruendo de la 
musica militar, y una leve sensacion de 
atontamiento producido por la ginebra. 

De repente, empezo a escribir con gran rapidez, 
como si lo impulsara el panico, dandose apenas 
cuenta de lo que escribia. Con su letrita infantil iba 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


29 


and down the page, shedding first its capital 
letters and finally even its full stops: 


April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war 
films. One very good one of a ship full of 
refugees being bombed somewhere in the 
Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots 
of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with 
a helicopter after him, first you saw him 
wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, 
then you saw him through the helicopters 
gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea 
round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly 
as though the holes had let in the water, audience 
shouting with laughter when he sank, then you 
saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter 
hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman 
might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow 
with a little boy about three years old in her arms, 
little boy screaming with fright and hiding his 
head between her breasts as if he was trying to 
burrow right into her and the woman putting her 
arms round him and comforting him although she 
was blue with fright herself, all the time covering 
him up as much as possible as if she thought her 
arms could keep the bullets off him. then the 
helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them 
terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood, 
then there was a wonderful shot of a child's arm 
going up up up right up into the air a helicopter 
with a camera in its nose must have followed it 
up and there was a lot of applause from the party 
seats but a woman down in the prole part of the 
house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and 
shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in 
front of kids they didnt it aint right not in front of 
kids it aint until the police turned her turned her 
out i dont suppose anything happened to her 
nobody cares what the proles say typical prole 
reaction they never — 


Winston stopped writing, partly because he was 
suffering from cramp. He did not know what had 


trazando lineas torcidas y si pnmero empezo a 
«comerse» las mayusculas, luego suprimio incluso 
los puntos: 

4 de abril de 1984. Anoche estuve en los flicks. 
Todcis las peli'culas eras de guerra Habia una muy 
buena de su barrio lleno de refugiados que lo 
bombardeaban no se donde del Mediterrdneo. Al 
publico lo divirtieron mucho los pianos de un 
hombre muy muy gordo que intentaba escaparse 
nadando de un helicoptero que lo perseguia, 
primero se le vela en el agua chapoteando como 
una tortuga, luego lo veias por los visores de las 
ametralladoras del helicoptero, luego se vela como 
lo iban agujereando a tiros y el agua a su alrededor 
que se ponia toda roja y el gordo se hundi'a como si 
el agua le entrara por los agujeros que le habian 
hecho las balas. La gente se moria de risa cuando 
el gordo se iba hundiendo en el agua, y tambien una 
lancha salvavidas llena de nihos con un helicoptero 
que venia dando vueltas y mas vueltas habia una 
mujer de edad madura que bien podia ser una judia 
y estaba sentada la proa con un niho en los brazos 
que quizas tuviera unos tres ahos, el niho chillaba 
con mucho pdnico, metia la cabeza entre los pechos 
de la mujer y parecia que se queria esconder asi y 
la mujer lo rodeaba con los brazos y lo consolaba 
como si ella no estuviese tambien aterrada y como 
si por tenerlo asi en los brazos fuera a evitar que le 
mataran al niho las balas. Entonces va el 
helicoptero y tira una bomba de veinte kilos sobre 
el barco y no queda ni una astilla de el, que fue una 
explosion pero que magnifica, y luego salia su 
primer piano maravilloso del brazo del niho 
subiendo por el care yo creo que un helicoptero con 
su cdmara debe haberlo seguido asi por el aire y la 
gente aplaudio muchisimo pero una mujer que 
estaba entro los proletarios empezo a armar un 
escdndalo terrible chillando que no debian echar 
eso, no debian echarlo delante de los crios, que no 
debian, hasta que la policia la saco de alii a rastras 
no creo que le pasara nada, a nadie le importa lo 
que dicen los proletarios, la reaccion tipica de los 
proletarios y no se hace caso nunca... 


Winston dejo de escribir, en parte debido a que le 
daban calambres. No sabla por que habia soltado 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


30 


made him pour out this stream of rubbish. But 
the curious thing was that while he was doing so 
a totally different memory had clarified itself in 
his mind, to the point where he almost felt equal 
to writing it down. It was, he now realized, 
because of this other incident that he had 
suddenly decided to come home and begin the 
diary today. 


It had happened that morning at the Ministry, if 
anything so nebulous could be said to happen. 


It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Records 
Department, where Winston worked, they were 
dragging the chairs out of the cubicles and 
grouping them in the centre of the hall opposite 
the big telescreen, in preparation for the Two 
Minutes Hate. Winston was just taking his place 
in one of the middle rows when two people 
whom he knew by sight, but had never spoken to, 
came unexpectedly into the room. One of them 
was a girl whom he often passed in the corridors. 
He did not know her name, but he knew that she 
worked in the Fiction Department. Presumably — 
since he had sometimes seen her with oily hands 
and carrying a spanner — she had some 
mechanical job on one of the novel-writing 
machines. She was a bold-looking girl, of about 
twenty-seven, with thick hair, a freckled face, 
and swift, athletic movements. A narrow scarlet 
sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was 
wound several times round the waist of her 
overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the 
shapeliness of her hips. Winston had disliked her 
from the very first moment of seeing her. He 
knew the reason. It was because of the 
atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and 
community hikes and general clean-mindedness 
which she managed to carry about with her. He 
disliked nearly all women, and especially the 
young and pretty ones. It was always the women, 
and above all the young ones, who were the most 
bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of 
slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of 
unorthodoxy. But this particular girl gave him the 
impression of being more dangerous than most. 
Once when they passed in the corridor she gave 
him a quick sidelong glance which seemed to 


esta sarta de incongruencias. Pero lo curioso era que 
mientras lo hacfa se le habfa aclarado otra faceta de 
su memoria hasta el punto de que ya se crefa en 
condiciones de escribir lo que realmente habfa 
querido poner en su libro. Ahora se daba cuenta de 
que si habfa querido venir a casa a empezar su 
diario precisamente hoy era a causa de este otro 
incidente. 


Habfa ocurrido aquella misma manana en el 
Ministerio, si es que algo de tal vaguedad podfa 
haber ocurrido. 


Cerca de las once y ciento en el Departamento de 
Registro, donde trabajaba Winston, sacaban las 
sillas de las cabinas y las agrupaban en el centra del 
vestfbulo, frente a la gran telepantalla, preparandose 
para los Dos Minutos de Odio. Winston acababa de 
sentarse en su sitio, en una de las filas de en medio, 
cuando entraron dos personas a quienes el conocfa 
de vista, pero a las cuales nunca habfa hablado. Una 
de estas personas era una muchacha con la que se 
habfa encontrado frecuentemente en los pasillos. No 
sabfa su nombre, pero sf que trabajaba en el 
Departamento de Novela. Probablemente — ya que 
la habfa visto algunas veces con las manos 
grasientas y llevando paquetes de composicion de 
imprenta — tendrfa alguna labor mecanica en una 
de las maquinas de escribir novelas. Era una joven 
de aspecto audaz, de unos veintisiete anos, con 
espeso cabello negro, cara pecosa y movimientos 
rapidos y atleticos. Llevaba el «mono» cedido por 
una estrecha faja roja que le daba varias veces la 
vuelta a la cintura realzando asf la atractiva forma 
de sus caderas; y ese cinturan era el emblema de la 
Liga juvenil Anti — Sex. A Winston le produjo una 
sensacion desagradable desde el primer momento en 
que la vio. Y sabfa la razon de este mal efecto: la 
atmosfera de los campos de hockey y duchas frfas, 
de excursiones colectivas y el aire general de 
higiene mental que trascendfa de ella. En realidad, a 
Winston le molestaban casi todas las mujeres y 
especialmente las jovenes y bonitas porque eran 
siempre las mujeres, y sobre todo las jovenes, lo 
mas fanatico del Partido, las que se tragaban todos 
los slogans de propaganda y abundaban entre ellas 
las espfas aficionadas y las que mostraban 
demasiada curiosidad por lo heterodoxo de los 
demas. Pero esta muchacha determinada le habfa 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


31 


pierce right into him and for a moment had filled 
him with black terror. The idea had even crossed 
his mind that she might be an agent of the 
Thought Police. That, it was true, was very 
unlikely. Still, he continued to feel a peculiar 
uneasiness, which had fear mixed up in it as well 
as hostility, whenever she was anywhere near 
him. 


The other person was a man named O'Brien, a 
member of the Inner Party and holder of some 
post so important and remote that Winston had 
only a dim idea of its nature. A momentary hush 
passed over the group of people round the chairs 
as they saw the black overalls of an Inner Party 
member approaching. O'Brien was a large, burly 
man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, 
brutal face. In spite of his formidable appearance 
he had a certain charm of manner. He had a trick 
of resettling his spectacles on his nose which was 
curiously disarming — in some indefinable way, 
curiously civilized. It was a gesture which, if 
anyone had still thought in such terms, might 
have recalled an eighteenth-century nobleman 
offering his snuffbox. Winston had seen O'Brien 
perhaps a dozen times in almost as many years. 
He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely 
because he was intrigued by the contrast between 
O'Brien's urbane manner and his prize-fighter's 
physique. Much more it was because of a secretly 
held belief — or perhaps not even a belief, merely 
a hope — that O'Brien's political orthodoxy was 
not perfect. Something in his face suggested it 
irresistibly. And again, perhaps it was not even 
unorthodoxy that was written in his face, but 
simply intelligence. But at any rate he had the 
appearance of being a person that you could talk 
to if somehow you could cheat the telescreen and 
get him alone. Winston had never made the 
smallest effort to verify this guess: indeed, there 
was no way of doing so. At this moment O'Brien 
glanced at his wrist-watch, saw that it was nearly 
eleven hundred, and evidently decided to stay in 
the Records Department until the Two Minutes 
Hate was over. He took a chair in the same row 
as Winston, a couple of places away. A small, 
sandy-haired woman who worked in the next 
cubicle to Winston was between them. The girl 


dado la impresion de ser mas peligrosa que la 
mayorfa. Una vez que se cruzaron en el corredor, la 
joven le dirigio una rapida mirada oblicua que por 
unos momentos dejo aterrado a Winston. Incluso se 
le habia ocurrido que podia ser una agente de la 
Policia del Pensamiento. No era, desde luego, muy 
probable. Sin embargo, Winston siguio sintiendo 
una intranquilidad muy especial cada vez que la 
muchacha se hallaba cerca de el, una mezcla de 
miedo y hostilidad. 

La otra persona era un hombre llamado O'Brien, 
miembro del Partido Interior y titular de un cargo 
tan remoto e importante, que Winston tenia una idea 
muy confusa de que se trataba. Un rapido murmullo 
paso por el grupo ya instalado en las sillas cuando 
vieron acercarse el «mono» negro de un miembro 
del Partido Interior. O'Brien era un hombre 
corpulento con un ancho cuello y un rostro basto, 
brutal, y sin embargo rebosante de buen humor. A 
pesar de su formidable aspecto, sus modales eran 
bastante agradables. Solia ajustarse las gafas con un 
gesto que tranquilizaba a sus interlocutores, un 
gesto que tenia algo de civilizado, y esto era 
sorprendente tratandose de algo tan leve. Ese gesto 
— si alguien hubiera sido capaz de pensar asi 
todavia — podia haber recordado a un aristocrata 
del siglo XVI ofreciendo rape en su cajita. Winston 
habia visto a O'Brien quizas solo una docena de 
veces en otros tantos anos. Sentiase fuertemente 
atraido por el y no solo porque le intrigaba el 
contraste entre los delicados modales de O'Brien y 
su aspecto de campeon de lucha libre, sino mucho 
mas por una conviccion secreta que quizas ni 
siquiera fuera una conviccion, sino solo una 
esperanza — de que la ortodoxia politica de O'Brien 
no era perfecta. Algo habia en su cara que le 
impulsaba a uno a sospecharlo irresistiblemente. Y 
quizas no fuera ni siquiera heterodoxia lo que estaba 
escrito en su rostro, sino, sencillamente, 
inteligencia. Pero de todos modos su aspecto era el 
de una persona a la cual se le podrfa hablar si, de 
algiin modo, se pudiera eludir la telepantalla y 
llevarlo aparte. Winston no habia hecho nunca el 
menor esfuerzo para comprobar su sospecha y es 
que, en verdad, no habia manera de hacerlo. En este 
momento, O'Brien miro su reloj de pulsera y, al ver 
que eran las once y ciento, seguramente decidio 
quedarse en el Departamento de Registro hasta que 
pasaran los Dos Minutos de Odio. Tomo asiento en 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


32 


with dark hair was sitting immediately behind. 


The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as 
of some monstrous machine running without oil, 
burst from the big telescreen at the end of the 
room. It was a noise that set one's teeth on edge 
and bristled the hair at the back of one's neck. 
The Hate had started. 


As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the 
Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the 
screen. There were hisses here and there among 
the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave 
a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Goldstein 
was the renegade and backslider who once, long 
ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), 
had been one of the leading figures of the Party, 
almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and 
then had engaged in counter-revolutionary 
activities, had been condemned to death, and had 
mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The 
programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied 
from day to day, but there was none in which 
Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was 
the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the 
Party's purity. All subsequent crimes against the 
Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, 
deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching. 
Somewhere or other he was still alive and 
hatching his conspiracies: perhaps somewhere 
beyond the sea, under the protection of his 
foreign paymasters, perhaps even — so it was 
occasionally rumoured — in some hiding-place in 
Oceania itself. 


Winston's diaphragm was constricted. He could 
never see the face of Goldstein without a painful 
mixture of emotions. It was a lean Jewish face, 
with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair and a 
small goatee beard — a clever face, and yet 
somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of 
senile silliness in the long thin nose, near the end 
of which a pair of spectacles was perched. It 


la misma fila que Winston, separado de el por dos 
sillas., Una mujer bajita y de cabello color arena, 
que trabajaba en la cabina vecina a la de Winston, 
se instalo entre ellos. La muchacha del cabello 
negro se sento detras de Winston. 

Un momento despues se oyo un espantoso chirrido, 
como de una monstruosa maquina sin engrasar, 
ruido que procedia de la gran telepantalla situada al 
fondo de la habitacion. Era un ruido que le hacia 
rechinar a uno los dientes y que ponia los pelos de 
punta. Habia empezado el Odio. 

Como de costumbre, aparecio en la pantalla el 
rostro de Emmanuel Goldstein, el Enemigo del 
Pueblo. Del publico salieron aqui y alia fuertes 
silbidos. La mujeruca del pelo arenoso dio un 
chillido mezcla de miedo y asco. Goldstein era el 
renegado que desde hacia mucho tiempo (nadie 
podia recordar cuanto) habia sido una de las figuras 
principales del Partido, casi con la misma 
importancia que el Gran Hermano, y luego se habia 
dedicado a actividades contrarrevolucionarias, habia 
sido condenado a muerte y se habia escapado 
misteriosamente, desapareciendo para siempre. Los 
programas de los Dos Minutos de Odio variaban 
cada dia, pero en ninguno de ellos dejaba de ser 
Goldstein el protagonista. Era el traidor por 
excelencia, el que antes y mas que nadie habia 
manchado la pureza del Partido. Todos los 
subsiguientes crimenes contra el Partido, todos los 
actos de sabotaje, herejias, desviaciones y traiciones 
de toda clase procedian directamente de sus 
ensenanzas. En cierto modo, seguia vivo y 
conspirando. Quizas se encontrara en algun lugar 
enemigo, a sueldo de sus amos extranjeros, e 
incluso era posible que, como se rumoreaba alguna 
vez, estuviera escondido en algun sitio de la propia 
Oceania. 


El diafragma de Winston se encogio. Nunca podia 
ver la cara de Goldstein sin experimentar una 
penosa mezcla de emociones. Era un rostro judio, 
delgado, con una aureola de pelo bianco y una 
barbita de chivo: una cara inteligente que tenia sin 
embargo, algo de despreciable y una especie de 
tonteria send que le prestaba su larga nariz, a cuyo 
extremo se sostenian en dificil equilibrio unas gafas. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


33 


resembled the face of a sheep, and the voice, too, 
had a sheep-like quality. Goldstein was 
delivering his usual venomous attack upon the 
doctrines of the Party — an attack so exaggerated 
and perverse that a child should have been able to 
see through it, and yet just plausible enough to 
fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, 
less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in 
by it. He was abusing Big Brother, he was 
denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he was 
demanding the immediate conclusion of peace 
with Eurasia, he was advocating freedom of 
speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of 
assembly, freedom of thought, he was crying 
hysterically that the revolution had been betrayed 
— and all this in rapid polysyllabic speech which 
was a sort of parody of the habitual style of the 
orators of the Party, and even contained 
Newspeak words: more Newspeak words, 

indeed, than any Party member would normally 
use in real life. And all the while, lest one should 
be in any doubt as to the reality which 
Goldstein's specious claptrap covered, behind his 
head on the telescreen there marched the endless 
columns of the Eurasian army — row after row of 
solid-looking men with expressionless Asiatic 
faces, who swam up to the surface of the screen 
and vanished, to be replaced by others exactly 
similar. The dull rhythmic tramp of the soldiers' 
boots formed the background to Goldstein's 
bleating voice. 


Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, 
uncontrollable exclamations of rage were 
breaking out from half the people in the room. 
The self-satisfied sheep-like face on the screen, 
and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army 
behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the 
sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced 
fear and anger automatically. He was an object of 
hatred more constant than either Eurasia or 
Eastasia, since when Oceania was at war with 
one of these Powers it was generally at peace 
with the other. But what was strange was that 
although Goldstein was hated and despised by 
everybody, although every day and a thousand 
times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in 
newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, 
smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze 
for the pitiful rubbish that they were — in spite of 


Parecia el rostro de una oveja y su misma voz tenia 
algo de ovejuna. Goldstein pronunciaba su habitual 
discurso en el que atacaba venenosamente las 
doctrinas del Partido; un ataque tan exagerado y 
perverso que hasta un nino podia darse cuenta de 
que sus acusaciones no se tenfan de pie, y sin 
embargo, lo bastante plausible para que pudiera uno 
alarmarse y no fueran a dejarse influir por insidias 
algunas personas ignorantes. Insultaba al Gran 
Hermano, acusaba al Partido de ejercer una 
dictadura y pedia que se firmara inmediatamente la 
paz con Eurasia. Abogaba por la libertad de palabra, 
la libertad de Prensa, la libertad de reunion y la 
libertad de pensamiento, gritando histericamente 
que la revolucion habla sido traicionada. Y todo 
esto a una rapidez asombrosa que era una especie de 
parodia del estilo habitual de los oradores del 
Partido e incluso utilizando palabras de neolengua, 
quizas con mas palabras neolingiilsticas de las que 
solfan emplear los miembros del Partido en la vida 
corriente. Y mientras gritaba, por detras de el 
desfilaban interminables columnas del ejercito de 
Eurasia, para que nadie interpretase como simple 
palabrerfa la oculta maldad de las frases de 
Goldstein. Aparecian en la pantalla filas y mas filas 
de forzudos soldados, con impasibles rostros 
asiaticos; se acercaban a primer termino y 
desaparecian. El sordo y rftmico clap — clap de las 
botas militares formaba el contrapunto de la hiriente 
voz de Goldstein. 


Antes de que el Odio hubiera durado treinta 
segundos, la mitad de los espectadores lanzaban 
incontenibles exclamaciones de rabia. La satisfecha 
y ovejuna faz del enemigo y el terrorffico poder del 
ejercito que desfilaba a sus espaldas, era demasiado 
para que nadie pudiera resistirlo indiferente. 
Ademas, solo con ver a Goldstein o pensar en el 
surglan el miedo y la ira automaticamente. Era el un 
objeto de odio mas constante que Eurasia o que 
Asia Oriental, ya que cuando Oceania estaba en 
guerra con alguna de estas potencias, solfa hallarse 
en paz con la otra. Pero lo extrano era que, a pesar 
de ser Goldstein el bianco de todos los odios y de 
que todos lo despreciaran, a pesar de que apenas 
pasaba dfa — y cada dfa ocurrfa esto mil veces — 
sin que sus teorfas fueran refutadas, aplastadas, 
ridiculizadas, en la telepantalla, en las tribunas 
publicas, en los periodicos y en los libros... a pesar 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


34 


all this, his influence never seemed to grow less. 
Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be 
seduced by him. A day never passed when spies 
and saboteurs acting under his directions were 
not unmasked by the Thought Police. He was the 
commander of a vast shadowy army, an 
underground network of conspirators dedicated 
to the overthrow of the State. The Brotherhood, 
its name was supposed to be. There were also 
whispered stories of a terrible book, a 
compendium of all the heresies, of which 
Goldstein was the author and which circulated 
clandestinely here and there. It was a book 
without a title. People referred to it, if at all, 
simply as THE BOOK. But one knew of such 
things only through vague rumours. Neither the 
Brotherhood nor THE BOOK was a subject that 
any ordinary Party member would mention if 
there was a way of avoiding it. 


In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. 
People were leaping up and down in their places 
and shouting at the tops of their voices in an 
effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that 
came from the screen. The little sandy-haired 
woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth 
was opening and shutting like that of a landed 
fish. Even O'Brien's heavy face was flushed. He 
was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful 
chest swelling and quivering as though he were 
standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark- 
haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out 
'Swine! Swine! Swine!' and suddenly she picked 
up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at 
the screen. It struck Goldstein's nose and 
bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a 
lucid moment Winston found that he was 
shouting with the others and kicking his heel 
violently against the rung of his chair. The 
horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was 
not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the 
contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining 
in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was 
always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear 
and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to 
smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to 
flow through the whole group of people like an 
electric current, turning one even against one's 
will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet 
the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected 


de todo ello, su influencia no parecfa disminuir. 
Siempre habfa nuevos incautos dispuestos a dejarse 
enganar por el. No pasaba ni un solo dfa sin que 
espfas y saboteadores que trabajaban siguiendo sus 
instrucciones fueran atrapados por la Policfa del 
Pensamiento. Era el jefe supremo de un inmenso 
ejercito que actuaba en la sombra, una subterranea 
red de conspiradores que se proponfan derribar al 
Estado. Se suponfa que esa organizacion se llamaba 
la Hermandad. Y tambien se rumoreaba que existfa 
un libro terrible, compendio de todas las herejfas, 
del cual era autor Goldstein y que circulaba 
clandestinamente. Era un libro sin tftulo. La gente 
se referfa a el llamandole sencillamente el libro. 
Pero de estas cosas solo era posible enterarse por 
vagos rumores. Los miembros corrientes del Partido 
no hablaban jamas de la Hermandad ni del libro si 
tenfan manera de evitarlo. 


En su segundo minuto, el odio llego al frenesf. Los 
espectadores saltaban y gritaban enfurecidos 
tratando de apagar con sus gritos la perforante voz 
que salfa de la pantalla. La mujer del cabello color 
arena se habfa puesto al rojo vivo y abrfa y cerraba 
la boca como un pez al que acaban de dejar en 
tierra. Incluso O'Brien tenia la cara congestionada. 
Estaba sentado muy rfgido y respiraba con su 
poderoso pecho como si estuviera resistiendo la 
presion de una gigantesca ola. La joven sentada 
exactamente detras de Winston, aquella morena, 
habfa empezado a gritar: «jCerdo! jCerdo! 

jCerdo!», y, de pronto, cogiendo un pesado 
diccionario de neolengua, lo arrojo a la pantalla. El 
diccionario le dio a Goldstein en la nariz y reboto. 
Pero la voz continuo inexorable. En un momento de 
lucidez descubrio Winston que estaba chillando 
histericamente como los demas y dando fuertes 
patadas con los talones contra los palos de su propia 
silla. Lo horrible de los Dos Minutos de Odio no era 
el que cada uno tuviera que desempenar allf un 
papel sino, al contrario, que era absolutamente 
imposible evitar la participacion porque era uno 
arrastrado irremisiblemente. A los treinta segundos 
no hacfa falta fingir. Un extasis de miedo y 
venganza, un deseo de matar, de torturar, de aplastar 
rostros con un martillo, parecfan recorrer a todos los 
presentes como una corriente electrica 
convirtiendole a uno, incluso contra su voluntad, en 
un loco gesticulador y vociferante. Y sin embargo, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


35 


emotion which could be switched from one 
object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. 
Thus, at one moment Winston's hatred was not 
turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the 
contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the 
Thought Police; and at such moments his heart 
went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the 
screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a 
world of lies. And yet the very next instant he 
was at one with the people about him, and all that 
was said of Goldstein seemed to him to be true. 
At those moments his secret loathing of Big 
Brother changed into adoration, and Big Brother 
seemed to tower up, an invincible, fearless 
protector, standing like a rock against the hordes 
of Asia, and Goldstein, in spite of his isolation, 
his helplessness, and the doubt that hung about 
his very existence, seemed like some sinister 
enchanter, capable by the mere power of his 
voice of wrecking the structure of civilization. 


It was even possible, at moments, to switch one's 
hatred this way or that by a voluntary act. 
Suddenly, by the sort of violent effort with which 
one wrenches one's head away from the pillow in 
a nightmare, Winston succeeded in transferring 
his hatred from the face on the screen to the dark- 
haired girl behind him. Vivid, beautiful 
hallucinations flashed through his mind. He 
would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. 
He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her 
full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would 
ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of 
climax. Better than before, moreover, he realized 
WHY it was that he hated her. He hated her 
because she was young and pretty and sexless, 
because he wanted to go to bed with her and 
would never do so, because round her sweet 
supple waist, which seemed to ask you to 
encircle it with your arm, there was only the 
odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of 
chastity. 


The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of 
Goldstein had become an actual sheep's bleat, 
and for an instant the face changed into that of a 
sheep. Then the sheep-face melted into the figure 


la rabia que se sentfa era una emocion abstracta e 
indirecta que podia aplicarse a uno u otro objeto 
como la llama de una lampara de soldadura 
autogena. Asf, en un momento determinado, el odio 
de Winston no se dirigfa contra Goldstein, sino 
contra el propio Gran Hermano, contra el Partido y 
contra la Policfa del Pensamiento; y entonces su 
corazon estaba de parte del solitario e insultado 
hereje de la pantalla, unico guardian de la verdad y 
la cordura en un mundo de mentiras. Pero al 
instante siguiente, se hallaba identificado por 
completo con la gente que le rodeaba y le parecfa 
verdad todo lo que decfan de Goldstein. Entonces, 
su odio contra el Gran Hermano se transformaba en 
adoracion, y el Gran Hermano se elevaba como una 
invencible torre, como una valiente roca capaz de 
resistir los ataques de las hordas asiaticas, y 
Goldstein, a pesar de su aislamiento, de su 
desamparo y de la duda que flotaba sobre su 
existencia misma, aparecfa como un siniestro brujo 
capaz de acabar con la civilizacion entera tan solo 
con el poder de su voz. 

Incluso era posible, en ciertos momentos, desviar el 
odio en una u otra direccion mediante un esfuerzo 
de voluntad. De pronto, por un esfuerzo semejante 
al que nos permite separar de la almohada la cabeza 
para huir de una pesadilla, Winston consegufa 
trasladar su odio a la muchacha que se encontraba 
detras de el. Por su mente pasaban, como rafagas, 
bellas y deslumbrantes alucinaciones. Le darfa 
latigazos con una porra de goma hasta matarla. La 
atarfa desnuda en un piquete y la atravesarfa con 
flechas como a san Sebastian. La violarfa y en el 
momento del climax le cortarfa la garganta. Sin 
embargo se dio cuenta mejor que antes de por que la 
odiaba. La odiaba porque era joven y bonita y 
asexuada; porque querfa irse a la cama con ella y no 
lo harfa nunca; porque alrededor de su dulce y 
cimbreante cintura, que parecfa pedir que la 
rodearan con el brazo, no habfa mas que la odiosa 
banda roja, agresivo sfmbolo de castidad. 


El odio alcanzo su punto de maxima exaltacion. La 
voz de Goldstein se habfa convertido en un 
autentico balido ovejuno. Y su rostro, que habfa 
llegado a ser el de una oveja, se transformo en la 



36 


George Orwell 

of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be 
advancing, huge and terrible, his sub-machine 
gun roaring, and seeming to spring out of the 
surface of the screen, so that some of the people 
in the front row actually flinched backwards in 
their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a 
deep sigh of relief from everybody, the hostile 
figure melted into the face of Big Brother, black- 
haired, black-moustachio'd, full of power and 
mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled 
up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Brother 
was saying. It was merely a few words of 
encouragement, the sort of words that are uttered 
in the din of battle, not distinguishable 
individually but restoring confidence by the fact 
of being spoken. Then the face of Big Brother 
faded away again, and instead the three slogans 
of the Party stood out in bold capitals: 


WAR IS PEACE 
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY 
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 

But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for 
several seconds on the screen, as though the 
impact that it had made on everyone's eyeballs 
was too vivid to wear off immediately. The little 
sandy-haired woman had flung herself forward 
over the back of the chair in front of her. With a 
tremulous murmur that sounded like 'My 
Saviour!' she extended her arms towards the 
screen. Then she buried her face in her hands. It 
was apparent that she was uttering a prayer. 


At this moment the entire group of people broke 
into a deep, slow, rhythmical chant of B-BL.B- 
B !' — over and over again, very slowly, with a 
long pause between the first 'B' and the second — 
a heavy, murmurous sound, somehow curiously 
savage, in the background of which one seemed 
to hear the stamp of naked feet and the throbbing 
of tom-toms. For perhaps as much as thirty 


19 8 4 

cara de un soldado de Eurasia, el cual parecia 
avanzar, enorme y terrible, sobre los espectadores 
disparando atronadoramente su fusil ametralladora. 
Enteramente parecia salirse de la pantalla, hasta tal 
punto que muchos de los presentes se echaban hacia 
atras en sus asientos. Pero en el mismo instante, 
produciendo con ello un hondo suspiro de alivio en 
todos, la amenazadora figura se fundia para que 
surgiera en su lugar el rostro del Gran Hermano, 
con su negra cabellera y sus grandes bigotes negros, 
un rostro rebosante de poder y de misteriosa calma 
y tan grande que llenaba casi la pantalla. Nadie oia 
lo que el gran camarada estaba diciendo. Eran solo 
unas cuantas palabras para animarlos, esas palabras 
que suelen decirse a las tropas en cualquier batalla, 
y que no es preciso entenderlas una por una, sino 
que infunden confianza por el simple hecho de ser 
pronunciadas. Entonces, desaparecio a su vez la 
monumental cara del Gran Hermano y en su lugar 
aparecieron los tres slogans del Partido en grandes 
letras: 

LA GUERRA ES LA PAZ 
LA LIBERT AD ES LA ESCLAVITUD 
LA IGNORANCIA ES LA FUERZA 

Pero daba la impresion de un fenomeno optico 
psicologico de que el rostro del Gran Hermano 
persistia en la pantalla durante algunos segundos, 
como si el «impacto» que habia producido en las 
retinas de los espectadores fuera demasiado intenso 
para borrarse inmediatamente. La mujeruca del 
cabello color arena se lanzo hacia delante, 
agarrandose a la silla de la fila anterior y luego, con 
un tremulo murmullo que sonaba algo asi como 
«jMi salvador!», extendio los brazos hacia la 
pantalla. Despues oculto la cara entre sus manos. 
Sin duda, estaba rezando a su manera. 


Entonces, todo el grupo prorrumpio en un canto 
ritmico, lento y profundo: «jGe-Hache. Ge-Hache... 
Ge-Hache!», dejando una gran pausa entre la G y la 
H. Era un canto monotono y salvaje en cuyo fondo 
parecian oirse pisadas de pies desnudos y el batir de 
los tam-tam. Este canturreo duro unos treinta 
segundos. Era un estribillo que surgia en todas las 
ocasiones de gran emocion colectiva. En parte, era 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


37 


seconds they kept it up. It was a refrain that was 
often heard in moments of overwhelming 
emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the 
wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still 
more it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate 
drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic 
noise. Winston's entrails seemed to grow cold. In 
the Two Minutes Hate he could not help sharing 
in the general delirium, but this sub-human 
chanting of 'B-BL.B-B!' always filled him with 
horror. Of course he chanted with the rest: it was 
impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your 
feelings, to control your face, to do what 
everyone else was doing, was an instinctive 
reaction. But there was a space of a couple of 
seconds during which the expression of his eyes 
might conceivably have betrayed him. And it was 
exactly at this moment that the significant thing 
happened — if, indeed, it did happen. 

Momentarily he caught O'Brien's eye. O'Brien 
had stood up. He had taken off his spectacles and 
was in the act of resettling them on his nose with 
his characteristic gesture. But there was a 
fraction of a second when their eyes met, and for 
as long as it took to happen Winston knew — yes, 
he KNEW! — that O'Brien was thinking the same 
thing as himself. An unmistakable message had 
passed. It was as though their two minds had 
opened and the thoughts were flowing from one 
into the other through their eyes. 'I am with you,' 
O'Brien seemed to be saying to him. 'I know 
precisely what you are feeling. I know all about 
your contempt, your hatred, your disgust. But 
don't worry, I am on your side!' And then the 
flash of intelligence was gone, and O'Brien's face 
was as inscrutable as everybody else's. 

That was all, and he was already uncertain 
whether it had happened. Such incidents never 
had any sequel. All that they did was to keep 
alive in him the belief, or hope, that others 
besides himself were the enemies of the Party. 
Perhaps the rumours of vast underground 
conspiracies were true after all — perhaps the 
Brotherhood really existed! It was impossible, in 
spite of the endless arrests and confessions and 
executions, to be sure that the Brotherhood was 
not simply a myth. Some days he believed in it, 


una especie de himno a la sabidurfa y majestad del 
Gran Hermano; pero, mas aun, constitula aquello un 
procedimiento de autohipnosis, un modo deliberado 
de ahogar la conciencia mediante un ruido rftmico. 
A Winston pareclan enfriarsele las entranas. En los 
Dos Minutos de Odio, no podia evitar que la oleada 
emotiva le arrastrase, pero este infrahumano 
canturreo «jG-H... G-H... G-H!» siempre le llenaba 
de horror. Desde luego, se unfa al coro; esto era 
obligatorio. Controlar los verdaderos sentimientos y 
hacer lo mismo que hicieran los demas era una 
reaccion natural. Pero durante un par de segundos, 
sus ojos podlan haberfo delatado. Y fue 
precisamente en esos instantes cuando ocurrio 
aquello que a el le habla parecido significativo... si 
es que habla ocurrido. 


Momentaneamente, sorprendio la mirada de 
O'Brien. Este se habla levantado; se habla quitado 
las gafas volviendoselas a colocar con su delicado y 
caracterlstico gesto. Pero durante una fraccion de 
segundo, se encontraron sus ojos con los de 
Winston y este supo — si, lo supo — que O'Brien 
pensaba lo mismo que el. Un inconfundible mensaje 
se habla cruzado entre ellos. Era como si sus dos 
mentes se hubieran abierto y los pensamientos 
hubieran volado de la una a la otra a traves de los 
ojos. «Estoy contigo», parecla estarle diciendo 
O'Brien. «Se en que estas pensando. Conozco tu 
asco, tu odio, tu disgusto. Pero no te preocupes; 
jestoy contigo!» Y luego la fugaclsima 
comunicacion se habla interrumpido y la expresion 
de O'Brien volvio a ser tan inescrutable como la de 
todos los demas. 


Esto fue todo y ya no estaba seguro de si habla 
sucedido efectivamente. Tales incidentes nunca 
tenlan consecuencias para Winston. Lo unico que 
haclan era mantener viva en el la creencia o la 
esperanza de que otros, ademas de el, eran 
enemigos del Partido. Quizas, despues de todo, 
resultaran ciertos los rumores de extensas 
conspiraciones subterraneas; quizas existiera de 
verdad la Hermandad. Era imposible, a pesar de los 
continuos arrestos y las constantes confesiones y 
ejecuciones, estar seguro de que la Hermandad no 



George Orwell 

some days not. There was no evidence, only 
fleeting glimpses that might mean anything or 
nothing: snatches of overheard conversation, 
faint scribbles on lavatory walls — once, even, 
when two strangers met, a small movement of the 
hand which had looked as though it might be a 
signal of recognition. It was all guesswork: very 
likely he had imagined everything. He had gone 
back to his cubicle without looking at O'Brien 
again. The idea of following up their momentary 
contact hardly crossed his mind. It would have 
been inconceivably dangerous even if he had 
known how to set about doing it. For a second, 
two seconds, they had exchanged an equivocal 
glance, and that was the end of the story. But 
even that was a memorable event, in the locked 
loneliness in which one had to live. 


Winston roused himself and sat up straighter. He 
let out a belch. The gin was rising from his 
stomach. 


His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered 
that while he sat helplessly musing he had also 
been writing, as though by automatic action. And 
it was no longer the same cramped, awkward 
handwriting as before. His pen had slid 
voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in 
large neat capitals — 

DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER 
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER 
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER 
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER 
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER 

over and over again, filling half a page. 

He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It 
was absurd, since the writing of those particular 


1 9 8 4 38 

era sencillamente un mito. Algunos dfas lo crefa 
Winston; otros, no. No habfa pruebas, solo destellos 
que podfan significar algo o no significar nada: 
retazos de conversaciones ofdas al pasar, algunas 
palabras garrapateadas en las paredes de los 
lavabos, y, alguna vez, al encontrarse dos 
desconocidos, ciertos movimientos de las manos 
que podfan parecer senales de reconocimiento. Pero 
todo ello eran suposiciones que podfan resultar 
totalmente falsas. Winston habfa vuelto a su 
cubfculo sin mirar otra vez a O'Brien. Apenas cruzo 
por su mente la idea de continuar este momentaneo 
contacto. Hubiera sido extremadamente peligroso 
incluso si hubiera sabido el como entablar esa 
relacion. Durante uno o dos segundos, se habfa 
cruzado entre ellos una mirada equfvoca, y eso era 
todo. Pero incluso asf, se trataba de un 
acontecimiento memorable en el aislamiento casi 
hermetico en que uno tenfa que vivir. 

Winston se sacudio de encima estos pensamientos y 
tomo una posicion mas erguida en su silla. Se le 
escapo un eructo. La ginebra estaba haciendo su 
efecto. 


Volvieron a fijarse sus ojos en la pagina. Descubrio 
entonces que durante todo el tiempo en que habfa 
estado recordando, no habfa dejado de escribir 
como por una accion automatica. Y ya no era la 
inhabil escritura retorcida de antes. Su pluma se 
habfa deslizado voluptuosamente sobre el suave 
papel, imprimiendo en claras y grandes mayusculas 
lo siguiente: 

ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO 
ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO 
ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO 
ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO 
ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO 

Una vez y otra, hasta llenar media pagina. 

No pudo evitar un escalofrfo de panico. Era 
absurdo, ya que escribir aquellas palabras no era 



39 


George Orwell 

words was not more dangerous than the initial act 
of opening the diary, but for a moment he was 
tempted to tear out the spoiled pages and 
abandon the enterprise altogether. 


He did not do so, however, because he knew that 
it was useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH 
BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from 
writing it, made no difference. Whether he went 
on with the diary, or whether he did not go on 
with it, made no difference. The Thought Police 
would get him just the same. He had 
committed — would still have committed, even if 
he had never set pen to paper — the essential 
crime that contained all others in itself. 
Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was 
not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You 
might dodge successfully for a while, even for 
years, but sooner or later they were bound to get 
you. 


It was always at night — the arrests invariably 
happened at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, 
the rough hand shaking your shoulder, the lights 
glaring in your eyes, the ring of hard faces round 
the bed. In the vast majority of cases there was 
no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply 
disappeared, always during the night. Your name 
was removed from the registers, every record of 
everything you had ever done was wiped out, 
your one-time existence was denied and then 
forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: 
VAPORIZED was the usual word. 


For a moment he was seized by a kind of 
hysteria. He began writing in ahurried untidy 
scrawl: 


theyll shoot me i don't care theyll shoot me in 
the back of the neck I dont care down with big 
brother they always shoot you in the back of the 
neck i dont care down with big brother — 


19 8 4 

mas peligroso que el acto inicial de abrir un diario; 
pero, por un instante, estuvo tentado de romper las 
paginas ya escritas y abandonar su proposito. 


Sin embargo, no lo hizo, porque sabia que era inutil. 
El hecho de escribir ABAJO EL GRAN 
HERMANO o no escribirlo, era completamente 
igual. Seguir con el diario o renunciar a escribirlo, 
venia a ser lo mismo. La Policia del Pensamiento lo 
descubrirfa de todas maneras. Winston habia 
cometido — seguirfa habiendo cometido aunque no 
hubiera llegado a posar la pluma sobre el papel — 
el crimen esencial que contenfa en si todos los 
demas. El crimental (crimen mental), como lo 
llamaban. El crimental no podia ocultarse durante 
mucho tiempo. En ocasiones, se podia llegar a 
tenerlo oculto anos enteros, pero antes o despues lo 
descubrfan a uno. 


Las detenciones ocurrfan invariablemente por la 
noche. Se despertaba uno sobresaltado porque una 
mano le sacudia a uno el hombro, una lintema le 
enfocaba los ojos y un circulo de sombrios rostros 
aparecia en torno al lecho. En la mayorfa de los 
casos no habia proceso alguno ni se daba cuenta 
oficialmente de la detencion. La gente desaparecia 
sencillamente y siempre durante la noche. El 
nombre del individuo en cuestion desaparecia de los 
registros, se borraba de todas partes toda referencia 
a lo que hubiera hecho y su paso por la vida 
quedaba totalmente anulado como si jamas hubiera 
existido. Para esto se empleaba la palabra 
vaporizado. 

Winston sintio una especie de histeria al pensar en 
estas cosas. Empezo a escribir rapidamente y con 
muy mala letra: 

me matardn no me importa me matardn me 
disparardn en la nuca me da lo mismo abajo el 
gran hermano siempre lo matan a uno por la nuca 
no me importa abajo el gran hermano... 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


40 


He sat back in his chair, slightly ashamed of 
himself, and laid down the pen. The next moment 
he started violently. There was a knocking at the 
door. 


Already! He sat as still as a mouse, in the futile 
hope that whoever it was might go away after a 
single attempt. But no, the knocking was 
repeated. The worst thing of all would be to 
delay. His heart was thumping like a drum, but 
his face, from long habit, was probably 
expressionless. He got up and moved heavily 
towards the door. 


Se echo hacia atras en la silla, un poco avergonzado 
de si mismo, y dejo la pluma sobre la mesa. De 
repente, se sobresalto espantosamente. Habian 
llamado a la puerta. 


[Tan pronto! Siguio sentado inmovil, como un raton 
asustado, con la tonta esperanza de que quien fuese 
se marchara al ver que no le abrfan. Pero no, la 
llamada se repitio. Lo peor que podia hacer Winston 
era tardar en abrir. Le redoblaba el corazon como un 
tambor, pero es muy probable que sus facciones, a 
fuerza de la costumbre, resultaran inexpresivas. 
Levantose y se acerco pesadamente a la puerta. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


41 


Chapter 2 


As he put his hand to the door-knob Winston saw 
that he had left the diary open on the table. DOWN 
WITH BIG BROTHER was written all over it, in 
letters almost big enough to be legible across the 
room. It was an inconceivably stupid thing to have 
done. But, he realized, even in his panic he had not 
wanted to smudge the creamy paper by shutting the 
book while the ink was wet. 


He drew in his breath and opened the door. 
Instantly a warm wave of relief flowed through 
him. A colourless, crushed-looking woman, with 
wispy hair and a lined face, was standing outside. 


'Oh, comrade,' she began in a dreary, whining sort 
of voice, 'I thought I heard you come in. Do you 
think you could come across and have a look at our 
kitchen sink? It's got blocked up and — ' 


It was Mrs Parsons, the wife of a neighbour on the 
same floor. ('Mrs' was a word somewhat 
discountenanced by the Party — you were supposed 
to call everyone 'comrade' — but with some women 
one used it instinctively.) She was a woman of 
about thirty, but looking much older. One had the 
impression that there was dust in the creases of her 
face. Winston followed her down the passage. 
These amateur repair jobs were an almost daily 
irritation. Victory Mansions were old flats, built in 
1930 or thereabouts, and were falling to pieces. 
The plaster flaked constantly from ceilings and 
walls, the pipes burst in every hard frost, the roof 
leaked whenever there was snow, the heating 
system was usually running at half steam when it 
was not closed down altogether from motives of 
economy. Repairs, except what you could do for 
yourself, had to be sanctioned by remote 
committees which were liable to hold up even the 
mending of a window-pane for two years. 


CAPITULO II 


A1 poner la mano en el pestillo recordo Winston 
que habia dejado el Diario abierto sobre la mesa. 
En aquella pagina se podia leer desde lejos el 
ABAJO EL GRAN HERMANO repetido en toda 
ella con letras grandisimas. Pero Winston sabia que 
incluso en su panico no habia querido estropear el 
cremoso papel cerrando el libro mientras la tinta no 
se hubiera secado. 


Contuvo la respiracion y abrio la puerta. 
Instantaneamente, le invadio una sensacion de 
alivio. Una mujer insignificante, avejentada, con el 
cabello revuelto y la cara llena de arrugas, estaba a 
su lado. 


— jOh, camarada! empezo a decir la mujer en una 
voz lugubre y quejumbrosa — , te sent! llegar y he 
venido por si puedes echarle un ojo al desagiie del 
fregadero. Se nos ha atascado... 

Era la senora Parsons, esposa de un vecino del 
mismo piso (senora era una palabra desterrada por 
el Partido, ya que habia que llamar a todos 
camaradas, pero con algunas mujeres se usaba 
todavia instintivamente). Era una mujer de unos 
treinta anos, pero aparentaba mucha mas edad. Se 
tenia la impresion de que habia polvo reseco en las 
arrugas de su cara. Winston la siguio por el pasillo. 
Estas reparaciones de aficionado constituian un 
fastidio casi diario. Las Casas de la Victoria eran 
unos antiguos pisos construidos hacia 1930 
aproximadamente y se hallaban en estado ruinoso. 
Caian constantemente trozos de yeso del techo y de 
la pared, las tuberfas se estropeaban con cada 
helada, habia innumerables goteras y la calefaccion 
funcionaba solo a medias cuando funcionaba, 
porque casi siempre la cerraban por economia. Las 
reparaciones, excepto las que podia hacer uno por 
si mismo, tenian que ser autorizadas por remotos 
comites que solian retrasar dos anos incluso la 
compostura de un cristal roto. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


42 


'Of course it's only because Tom isn't home,' said 
Mrs Parsons vaguely. 


The Parsons' flat was bigger than Winston's, and 
dingy in a different way. Everything had a battered, 
trampled-on look, as though the place had just been 
visited by some large violent animal. Games 
impedimenta — hockey-sticks, boxing-gloves, a 

burst football, a pair of sweaty shorts turned inside 
out — lay all over the floor, and on the table there 
was a litter of dirty dishes and dog-eared exercise- 
books. 

On the walls were scarlet banners of the Youth 
League and the Spies, and a full-sized poster of Big 
Brother. There was the usual boiled-cabbage smell, 
common to the whole building, but it was shot 
through by a sharper reek of sweat, which — one 
knew this at the first sniff, though it was hard to 
say how — was the sweat of some person not 
present at the moment. In another room someone 
with a comb and a piece of toilet paper was trying 
to keep tune with the military music which was 
still issuing from the telescreen. 


'It's the children,' said Mrs Parsons, casting a half- 
apprehensive glance at the door. 'They haven't been 
out today. And of course — ' 

She had a habit of breaking off her sentences in the 
middle. The kitchen sink was full nearly to the 
brim with filthy greenish water which smelt worse 
than ever of cabbage. Winston knelt down and 
examined the angle -joint of the pipe. He hated 
using his hands, and he hated bending down, which 
was always liable to start him coughing. Mrs 
Parsons looked on helplessly. 


'Of course if Tom was home he'd put it right in a 
moment,' she said. 

'He loves anything like that. He's ever so good with 
his hands, Tom is.' 


Parsons was Winston's fellow-employee at the 


— Si le he molestado es porque Tom no esta en 
casa — dijo la senora Parsons vagamente. 

El piso de los Parsons era mayor que el de Winston 
y mucho mas descuidado. Todo parecia roto y daba 
la impresion de que alii acababa de agitarse un 
enorme y violento animal. Por el suelo estaban 
tirados diversos articulos para deportes patines de 
hockey, guantes de boxeo, un balon de reglamento, 
unos pantalones vueltos del reves y sobre la mesa 
habia un monton de platos sucios y cuadernos 
escolares muy usados. 

En las paredes, unos carteles rojos de la Liga 
juvenil y de los Espfas y un gran cartel con el 
retrato de tamano natural del Gran Hermano. Por 
supuesto, se percibia el habitual olor a verduras 
cocidas que era el dominante en todo el edificio, 
pero en este piso era mas fuerte el olor a sudor, que 
se notaba desde el primer momento, aunque no 
alcanzaba uno a decir por que era el sudor de una 
mujer que no se hallaba presente entonces. En otra 
habitacion, alguien con un peine y un trozo de 
papel higienico trataba de acompanar a la musica 
militar que brotaba todavia de la telepantalla. 

— Son los ninos dijo la senora Parsons, lanzando 
una mirada aprensiva hacia la puerta — . Hoy no 
han salido. Y, desde luego... 

Aquella mujer tenia la costumbre de interrumpir 
sus frases por la mitad. El fregadero de la cocina 
estaba lleno casi hasta el borde con agua sucia y 
verdosa que olia aun peor que la verdura. Winston 
se arrodillo y examino el angulo de la tuberia de 
desagiie donde estaba el tomillo. Le molestaba 
emplear sus manos y tambien tener que 
arrodillarse, porque esa postura le hacia toser. La 
senora Parsons lo miro desanimada: 


— Naturalmente, si Tom estuviera en casa lo 
arreglaria en un momento. Le gustan esas cosas. Es 
muy habil en cosas manuales. Si, Tom es muy... 


Parsons era el companero de oficina de Winston en 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


43 


Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man 
of paralysing stupidity, a mass of imbecile 
enthusiasms — one of those completely 

unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more 
even than on the Thought Police, the stability of 
the Party depended. At thirty-five he had just been 
unwillingly evicted from the Youth League, and 
before graduating into the Youth League he had 
managed to stay on in the Spies for a year beyond 
the statutory age. At the Ministry he was employed 
in some subordinate post for which intelligence 
was not required, but on the other hand he was a 
leading figure on the Sports Committee and all the 
other committees engaged in organizing 
community hikes, spontaneous demonstrations, 
savings campaigns, and voluntary activities 
generally. He would inform you with quiet pride, 
between whiffs of his pipe, that he had put in an 
appearance at the Community Centre every 
evening for the past four years. An overpowering 
smell of sweat, a sort of unconscious testimony to 
the strenuousness of his life, followed him about 
wherever he went, and even remained behind him 
after he had gone. 


'Have you got a spanner?' said Winston, fiddling 
with the nut on the angle-joint. 


'A spanner,' said Mrs Parsons, immediately 
becoming invertebrate. 'I don't know, I'm sure. 
Perhaps the children — ' 


There was a trampling of boots and another blast 
on the comb as the children charged into the living- 
room. Mrs Parsons brought the spanner. Winston 
let out the water and disgustedly removed the clot 
of human hair that had blocked up the pipe. He 
cleaned his fingers as best he could in the cold 
water from the tap and went back into the other 
room. 


'Up with your hands!' yelled a savage voice. 


A handsome, tough-looking boy of nine had 
popped up from behind the table and was menacing 


el Ministerio de la Verdad. Era un hombre muy 
grueso, pero activo y de una estupidez asombrosa, 
una masa de entusiasmos imbeciles, uno de esos 
idiotas de los cuales, todavra mas que de la Policra 
del Pensamiento, dependra la estabilidad del 
Partido. A sus treinta y cinco anos acababa de salir 
de la Liga juvenil, y antes de ser admitido en esa 
organizacion habla conseguido permanecer en la de 
los Esplas un ano mas de lo reglamentario. En el 
Ministerio estaba empleado en un puesto 
subordinado para el que no se requerfa inteligencia 
alguna, pero, por otra parte, era una figura 
sobresaliente del Comite deportivo y de todos los 
demas comites dedicados a organizar excursiones 
colectivas, manifestaciones espontaneas, las 
campanas pro ahorro y en general todas las 
actividades «voluntarias». Informaba a quien 
quisiera orrle, con tranquilo orgullo y entre 
chupadas a su pipa, que no habla dejado de acudir 
ni un solo dla al Centro de la Comunidad durante 
los cuatro anos pasados. Un fortrsimo olor a sudor, 
una especie de testimonio inconsciente de su 
continua actividad y energra, le segula a donde 
quiera que iba, y quedaba tras el cuando se hallaba 
lejos. 


— (Micne usted un destornillador? dijo Winston 
tocando el tapon del desagiie. 

— Un destornillador dijo la senora Parsons, 
inmovilizandose inmediatamente — . Pues, no se. 
Es posible que los ninos... 

En la habitacion de al lado se oran fuertes pisadas y 
mas trompetazos con el peine. La senora Parsons 
trajo el destornillador. Winston dejo salir el agua y 
quito con asco el pegote de cabello que habla 
atrancado el tubo. Se limpio los dedos lo mejor que 
pudo en el agua frfa del grifo y volvio a la otra 
habitacion. 


— [Arriba las manos! chillo una voz salvaje. 


Un chico, guapo y de aspecto rudo, que parecra 
tener unos nueve anos, habla surgido por detras de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


44 


him with a toy automatic pistol, while his small 
sister, about two years younger, made the same 
gesture with a fragment of wood. Both of them 
were dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirts, and red 
neckerchiefs which were the uniform of the Spies. 
Winston raised his hands above his head, but with 
an uneasy feeling, so vicious was the boy's 
demeanour, that it was not altogether a game. 


'You're a traitor!' yelled the boy. 'You're a thought- 
criminal! You're a Eurasian spy! I'll shoot you, I'll 
vaporize you, I'll send you to the salt mines!' 


Suddenly they were both leaping round him, 
shouting 'Traitor!' and 'Thought-criminal!' the little 
girl imitating her brother in every movement. It 
was somehow slightly frightening, like the 
gambolling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up 
into man-eaters. There was a sort of calculating 
ferocity in the boy's eye, a quite evident desire to 
hit or kick Winston and a consciousness of being 
very nearly big enough to do so. It was a good job 
it was not a real pistol he was holding, Winston 
thought. 


Mrs Parsons' eyes flitted nervously from Winston 
to the children, and back again. In the better light 
of the living-room he noticed with interest that 
there actually was dust in the creases of her face. 


'They do get so noisy,' she said. 'They're 
disappointed because they couldn't go to see the 
hanging, that's what it is. I'm too busy to take them, 
and Tom won't be back from work in time.' 


'Why can't we go and see the hanging?' roared the 
boy in his huge voice. 


la mesa y amenazaba a Winston con una pistola 
automatica de juguete mientras que su hermanita, 
de unos dos anos menos, hacfa el mismo ademan 
con un pedazo de madera. Ambos iban vestidos 
con pantalones cortos azules, camisas grises y 
panuelo rojo al cuello. Este era el uniforme de los 
Espfas. Winston levanto las manos, pero a pesar de 
la broma sentfa cierta inquietud por el gesto del 
maldad que vela en el nino. 

— jEres un traidor! grito el chico — . jEres un 
criminal mental! jEres un espfa de Eurasia! jTe 
matare, te vaporizare; te mandare a las minas de 
sal. 


De pronto, tanto el nino como la nina empezaron a 
saltar en tomo a el gritando: «jTraidor!» 

«j Criminal mental !», imitando la nina todos los 
movimientos de su hermano. Aquello producfa un 
poco de miedo, algo asf como los juegos de los 
cachorros de los tigres cuando pensamos que 
pronto se convertiran en devoradores de hombres. 
Habfa una especie de ferocidad calculadora en la 
mirada del pequeno, un deseo evidente de darle un 
buen golpe a Winston, de hacerle dano de alguna 
manera, una conviccion de ser va casi lo 
suficientemente hombre para hacerlo. «jQue suerte 
que el nino no tenga en la mano mas que una 
pistola de juguete !», penso Winston. 

La mirada de la senora Parsons iba nerviosamente 
de los ninos a Winston y de este a los ninos. Como 
en aquella habitacion habfa mejor luz, pudo notar 
Winston que en las arrugas de la mujer habfa 
efectivamente polvo. 

— Hacen tanto ruido... Dijo ella — . Estan 
disgustados porque no pueden ir a ver ahorcar a 
esos. Estoy segura de que por eso revuelven tanto. 
Yo no puedo llevarlos; tengo demasiado quehacer. 
Y Tom no volvera de su trabajo a tiempo. 

— ^Por que no podemos ir a ver como los cuelgan? 
Grito el pequeno con su tremenda voz, impropia de 
su edad. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


45 


'Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!' 
chanted the little girl, still capering round. 


Some Eurasian prisoners, guilty of war crimes, 
were to be hanged in the Park that evening, 
Winston remembered. This happened about once a 
month, and was a popular spectacle. Children 
always clamoured to be taken to see it. He took his 
leave of Mrs Parsons and made for the door. But he 
had not gone six steps down the passage when 
something hit the back of his neck an agonizingly 
painful blow. It was as though a red-hot wire had 
been jabbed into him. He spun round just in time to 
see Mrs Parsons dragging her son back into the 
doorway while the boy pocketed a catapult. 


'Goldstein!' bellowed the boy as the door closed on 
him. But what most struck Winston was the look of 
helpless fright on the woman's greyish face. 


Back in the flat he stepped quickly past the 
telescreen and sat down at the table again, still 
rubbing his neck. The music from the telescreen 
had stopped. Instead, a clipped military voice was 
reading out, with a sort of brutal relish, a 
description of the armaments of the new Floating 
Fortress which had just been anchored between 
Iceland and the Faroe Islands. 


With those children, he thought, that wretched 
woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two 
years, and they would be watching her night and 
day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all 
children nowadays were horrible. What was worst 
of all was that by means of such organizations as 
the Spies they were systematically turned into 
ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced 
in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the 
discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they 
adored the Party and everything connected with it. 
The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, 


— jQueremos verlos colgar! jQueremos verlos 
colgar! — canturreaba la chiquilla mientras 
saltaba. 


Varios prisioneros eurasiaticos, culpables de 
crfmenes de guerra, serfan ahorcados en el parque 
aquella tarde, recordo Winston. Esto solia ocurrir 
una vez al mes y constituia un espectaculo popular. 
A los ninos siempre les hacia gran ilusion asistir a 
el. Winston se despidio de la senora Parsons y se 
dirigio hacia la puerta. Pero apenas habia bajado 
seis escalones cuando algo le dio en el cuello por 
detras produciendole un terrible dolor. Era como si 
le hubieran aplicado un alambre incandescente. Se 
volvio a tiempo de ver como retiraba la senora 
Parsons a su hijo del descansillo. El chico se 
guardaba un tirachinas en el bolsillo. 

— [Goldstein! Grito el pequeno antes de que la 
madre cerrara la puerta, pero lo que mas asusto a 
Winston fue la mirada de terror y desamparo de la 
senora Parsons. 


De nuevo en su piso, cruzo rapidamente por 
delante de la telepantalla y volvio a sentarse ante la 
mesita sin dejar de pasarse la mano por su dolorido 
cuello. La musica de la telepantalla se habia 
detenido. Una voz militar estaba leyendo, con una 
especie de brutal complacencia, una descripcion de 
los armamentos de la nueva fortaleza flotante que 
acababa de ser anclada entre Islandia y las islas 
Feroe. 


Con aquellos ninos, penso Winston, la desgraciada 
mujer debia de llevar una vida terrorifica. Dentro 
de uno o dos anos sus propios hijos podian 
descubrir en ella algun indicio de herejia. Casi 
todos los ninos de entonces eran horribles. Lo peor 
de todo era que esas organizaciones, como la de los 
Espias, los convertian sistematicamente en 
pequenos salvajes ingobernables, y, sin embargo, 
este salvajismo no les impulsaba a rebelarse contra 
la disciplina del Partido. Por el contrario, adoraban 
al Partido y a todo lo que se relacionaba con el. Las 
canciones, los desfiles, las pancartas, las 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


46 


the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of 
slogans, the worship of Big Brother — it was all a 
sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity 
was turned outwards, against the enemies of the 
State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, 
thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people 
over thirty to be frightened of their own children. 
And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in 
which The Times' did not carry a paragraph 
describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — 
'child hero' was the phrase generally used — had 
overheard some compromising remark and 
denounced its parents to the Thought Police. 


The sting of the catapult bullet had worn off. He 
picked up his pen half-heartedly, wondering 
whether he could find something more to write in 
the diary. Suddenly he began thinking of O'Brien 
again. 

Years ago — how long was it? Seven years it must 
be — he had dreamed that he was walking through a 
pitch-dark room. And someone sitting to one side 
of him had said as he passed: 'We shall meet in the 
place where there is no darkness.' It was said very 
quietly, almost casually — a statement, not a 
command. He had walked on without pausing. 
What was curious was that at the time, in the 
dream, the words had not made much impression 
on him. It was only later and by degrees that they 
had seemed to take on significance. He could not 
now remember whether it was before or after 
having the dream that he had seen O'Brien for the 
first time, nor could he remember when he had first 
identified the voice as O'Brien's. But at any rate the 
identification existed. It was O'Brien who had 
spoken to him out of the dark. 


Winston had never been able to feel sure — even 
after this morning's flash of the eyes it was still 
impossible to be sure whether O'Brien was a friend 
or an enemy. Nor did it even seem to matter 
greatly. There was a link of understanding between 
them, more important than affection or 
partisanship. 'We shall meet in the place where 
there is no darkness,' he had said. Winston did not 


excursiones colectivas, la instruccion militar 
infantil con fusiles de juguete, los slogans gritados 
por doquier, la adoracion del Gran Hermano... todo 
ello era para los ninos un estupendo juego. Toda su 
ferocidad revertia hacia fuera, contra los enemigos 
del Estado, contra los extranjeros, los traidores, 
saboteadores y criminales del pensamiento. Era 
casi normal que personas de mas de treinta anos les 
tuvieran un miedo visceral a sus hijos. Y con 
razon, pues apenas pasaba una semana sin que el 
Times publicara unas lineas describiendo como 
alguna viborilla — la denominacion oficial era 
«heroico nino» habia denunciado a sus padres a la 
Policia del Pensamiento contandole a esta lo que 
habia oido en casa. 


La molestia causada por el proyectil del drachmas 
se le habia pasado. Winston volvio a coger la 
pluma preguntandose si no tendrfa algo mas que 
escribir. De pronto, empezo a pensar de nuevo en 
O'Brien. 


Anos atras — cuanto tiempo hacia, quizas siete 
anos — habia sonado Winston que paseaba por una 
habitation oscura... Alguien sentado a su lado le 
habia dicho al pasar el: «Nos encontraremos en el 
lugar donde no hay oscuridad». Se lo habia dicho 
con toda calma, de una manera casual, mas como 
una afirmacion cualquiera que como una orden. El 
habia seguido andando. Y lo curioso era que al 
oirlas en el sueno, aquellas palabras no le habian 
impresionado. Fue solo mas tarde y gradualmente 
cuando empezaron a tomar significado. Ahora no 
podia recordar si fue antes o despues de tener el 
sueno cuando habia visto a O'Brien por vez 
primera; y tampoco podia recordar cuando habia 
identificado aquella voz como la de O'Brien. Pero, 
de todos modos, era indudablemente O'Brien quien 
le habia hablado en la oscuridad. 


Nunca habia podido sentirse absolutamente seguro 
— incluso despues del fugaz encuentro de sus 
miradas esta manana — de si O'Brien era un amigo 
o un enemigo. Ni tampoco importaba mucho esto. 
Lo cierto era que existia entre ellos un vinculo de 
comprension mas fuerte y mas importante que el 
afecto o el partidismo. «Nos encontraremos en el 
lugar donde no hay oscuridad», le habia dicho. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


47 


know what it meant, only that in some way or 
another it would come true. 


The voice from the telescreen paused. A trumpet 
call, clear and beautiful, floated into the stagnant 
air. The voice continued raspingly: 

'Attention! Your attention, please! A newsflash has 
this moment arrived from the Malabar front. Our 
forces in South India have won a glorious victory. I 
am authorized to say that the action we are now 
reporting may well bring the war within 
measurable distance of its end. Here is the 
newsflash — ' 


Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure 
enough, following on a gory description of the 
annihilation of a Eurasian army, with stupendous 
figures of killed and prisoners, came the 
announcement that, as from next week, the 
chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty 
grammes to twenty. 

Winston belched again. The gin was wearing off, 
leaving a deflated feeling. The telescreen — perhaps 
to celebrate the victory, perhaps to drown the 
memory of the lost chocolate — crashed into 
'Oceania, 'tis for thee'. You were supposed to stand 
to attention. However, in his present position he 
was invisible. 


'Oceania, 'tis for thee' gave way to lighter music. 
Winston walked over to the window, keeping his 
back to the telescreen. The day was still cold and 
clear. Somewhere far away a rocket bomb 
exploded with a dull, reverberating roar. About 
twenty or thirty of them a week were falling on 
London at present. 

Down in the street the wind flapped the torn poster 
to and fro, and the word INGSOC fitfully appeared 
and vanished. Ingsoc. The sacred principles of 


Winston no sabia lo que podian significar estas 
palabras, pero si sabia que se convertirfan en 
realidad. 


La voz de la telepantalla se interrumpio. Sono un 
claro y hermoso toque de trompeta y la voz 
prosiguio en tono chirriante: 

«Atencion. jVuestra atencion, por favor! En este 
momento nos llega un notirrelampago del frente 
malabar. Nuestras fuerzas han logrado una gloriosa 
victoria en el sur de la India. Estoy autorizado para 
decir que la batalla a que me refiero puede 
aproximarnos bastante al final de la guerra. He 
aqui el texto del notirrelampago... » 

Malas noticias, penso Winston. Ahora seguira la 
descripcion, con un repugnante realismo, del 
aniquilamiento de todo un ejercito eurasico, con 
fantasticas cifras de muertos y prisioneros... para 
decirnos luego que, desde la semana proxima, 
reduciran la racion de chocolate a veinte gramos en 
vez de los treinta de ahora. 


Winston volvio a eructar. La ginebra perdia ya su 
fuerza y lo dejaba desanimado. La telepantalla — 
no se sabe si para celebrar la victoria o para quitar 
el mal sabor del chocolate perdido — lanzo los 
acordes de Oceania, todo para ti. Se suponia que 
todo el que escuchara el himno, aunque estuviera 
solo, tenia que escucharlo de pie. Sin embargo, 
Winston se aprovecho de que la telepantalla no lo 
veia y siguio sentado. 

Oceania, todo para ti, termino y empezo la musica 
ligera. Winston se dirigio hacia la ventana, 
manteniendose de espaldas a la pantalla El dia era 
todavia frfo y claro. Alla lejos estallo una 
bombacohete con un sonido sordo y prolongado. 
Ahora solian caer en Londres unas veinte o treinta 
bombas a la semana. 


Abajo, en la calle, el viento seguia agitando el 
cartel donde la palabra Ingsoc aparecia y 
desaparecia. Ingsoc. Los principios sagrados de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


48 


Ingsoc. Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of 
the past. He felt as though he were wandering in 
the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous 
world where he himself was the monster. He was 
alone. The past was dead, the future was 
unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single 
human creature now living was on his side? And 
what way of knowing that the dominion of the 
Party would not endure FOR EVER? Like an 
answer, the three slogans on the white face of the 
Ministry of Truth came back to him: 

WAR IS PEACE 

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY 

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 

He took a twenty-five cent piece out of his pocket. 
There, too, in tiny clear lettering, the same slogans 
were inscribed, and on the other face of the coin 
the head of Big Brother. Even from the coin the 
eyes pursued you. On coins, on stamps, on the 
covers of books, on banners, on posters, and on the 
wrappings of a cigarette packet — everywhere. 
Always the eyes watching you and the voice 
enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or 
eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in 
bed — no escape. Nothing was your own except the 
few cubic centimetres inside your skull. 


The sun had shifted round, and the myriad 
windows of the Ministry of Truth, with the light no 
longer shining on them, looked grim as the 
loopholes of a fortress. His heart quailed before the 
enormous pyramidal shape. It was too strong, it 
could not be stormed. A thousand rocket bombs 
would not batter it down. He wondered again for 
whom he was writing the diary. For the future, for 
the past — for an age that might be imaginary. And 
in front of him there lay not death but annihilation. 
The diary would be reduced to ashes and himself to 
vapour. Only the Thought Police would read what 
he had written, before they wiped it out of 
existence and out of memory. How could you 
make appeal to the future when not a trace of you, 
not even an anonymous word scribbled on a piece 


Ingsoc. Neolengua, doblepensar, mutabilidad del 
pasado. A Winston le parecia estar recorriendo las 
selvas submarinas, perdido en un mundo 
monstruoso cuyo monstruo era el mismo. Estaba 
solo. El pasado habia muerto, el futuro era 
inimaginable. ^Quc certidumbre podia tener el de 
que ni un solo ser humano estaba de su parte? Y 
^Como iba a saber si el dominio del Partido no 
durarfa siempre? Como respuesta, los tres slogans 
sobre la blanca fachada del Ministerio de la 
Verdad, le recordaron que: 

LA GUERRA ES LA PAZ 
LA LIBERTAD ES LA ESCLAVITUD 
LA IGNORANCIA ES LA FUERZA 

Saco de su bolsillo una moneda de veinticinco 
centavos. Tambien en ella, en letras pequenas, pero 
muy claras, aparecian las mismas frases y, en el 
reverso de la moneda, la cabeza del Gran Hermano. 
Los ojos de este le perseguian a uno hasta desde las 
monedas. SI, en las monedas, en los sellos de 
correo, en pancartas, en las envolturas de los 
paquetes de los cigarrillos, en las portadas de los 
libros, en todas partes. Siempre los ojos que os 
contemplaban y la voz que os envolvia. Despiertos 
o dormidos, trabajando o comiendo, en casa o en la 
calle, en el bano o en la cama, no habia escape. 
Nada era del individuo a no ser unos cuantos 
centhnetros cubicos dentro de su craneo. 


El sol habia seguido su curso y las mil ventanas del 
Ministerio de la Verdad, en las que ya no 
reverberaba la luz, parecian los tetricos huecos de 
una fortaleza. Winston sintio angustia ante aquella 
masa piramidal. Era demasiado fuerte para ser 
asaltada. Ni siquiera un miliar de bombascohete 
podrian abatirla. Volvio a preguntarse para quien 
escribia el Diario. ^Para el pasado, para el futuro, 
para una epoca imaginaria? Frente a el no veia la 
muerte, sino algo peor: el aniquilamiento absoluto. 
El Diario quedaria reducido a cenizas y a el lo 
vaporizarian. Solo la Policia del Pensamiento 
leeria lo que el hubiera escrito antes de hacer que 
esas lineas desaparecieran incluso de la memoria. 
^Como iba usted a apelar a la posteridad cuando ni 
una sola huella suya, ni siquiera una palabra 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


49 


of paper, could physically survive? 


The telescreen struck fourteen. He must leave in 
ten minutes. He had to be back at work by 
fourteen-thirty. 


Curiously, the chiming of the hour seemed to have 
put new heart into him. He was a lonely ghost 
uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But 
so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the 
continuity was not broken. It was not by making 
yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried 
on the human heritage. He went back to the table, 
dipped his pen, and wrote: 

To the future or to the past, to a time when 
thought is free, when men are different from one 
another and do not live alone — to a time when 
truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: 

From the age of uniformity, from the age of 
solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age 
of doublethink — greetings ! 

He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to 
him that it was only now, when he had begun to be 
able to formulate his thoughts, that he had taken 
the decisive step. The consequences of every act 
are included in the act itself. He wrote: 


Thoughtcrime does not entail death: 
thoughtcrime IS death. 


Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it 
became important to stay alive as long as possible. 
Two fingers of his right hand were inkstained. It 
was exactly the kind of detail that might betray 
you. Some nosing zealot in the Ministry (a woman, 
probably: someone like the little sandy-haired 
woman or the dark-haired girl from the Fiction 
Department) might start wondering why he had 
been writing during the lunch interval, why he had 
used an old-fashioned pen, WHAT he had been 


garrapateada en un papel iba a sobrevivir 
ffsicamente? 


En la telepantalla sonaron las catorce. Winston 
tenia que marchar dentro de diez minutos. Debia 
reanudar el trabajo a las catorce y treinta. 

Que curioso: las campanadas de la hora lo 
reanimaron. Era como un fantasma solitario 
diciendo una verdad que nadie oiria nunca. De 
todos modos, mientras Winston pronunciara esa 
verdad, la continuidad no se romperfa. La herencia 
humana no se continuaba porque uno se hiciera oir 
sino por el hecho de permanecer cuerdo. Volvio a 
la mesa, mojo en tinta su pluma y escribio: 

Para el futuro o para el pasado, para la epoca en 
que se pueda pensar libremente, en que los 
hombres sean distintos unos de otros y no vivan 
solitarios... Para cuando la verdad exista y lo que 
se haya hecho no pueda ser deshecho: 

Desde esta epoca de uniformidad, de este tiempo 
de soledad, la Edad del Gran Hermano, la epoca 
del doblepensar... /muchas felicidades! 

Winston comprendia que ya estaba muerto. Le 
parecia que solo ahora, en que empezaba a poder 
formular sus pensamientos, era cuando habia dado 
el paso definitivo. Las consecuencias de cada acto 
van incluidas en el acto mismo. Escribio: 


El crimental (el crimen de la mente) no implica la 
muerte; el crimental es la muerte misma. 


A1 reconocerse ya a si mismo muerto, se le hizo 
imprescindible vivir lo mas posible. Tenia 
manchados de tinta dos dedos de la mano derecha. 
Era exactamente uno de esos detalles que le pueden 
delatar a uno. Cualquier entrometido del Ministerio 
(probablemente, una mujer: alguna como la del 
cabello color de arena o la muchacha morena del 
Departamento de Novela) podia preguntarse por 
que habria usado una pluma anticuada y que habrfa 
escrito... y luego dar el soplo a donde 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


50 


writing — and then drop a hint in the appropriate 
quarter. He went to the bathroom and carefully 
scrubbed the ink away with the gritty dark-brown 
soap which rasped your skin like sandpaper and 
was therefore well adapted for this purpose. 


He put the diary away in the drawer. It was quite 
useless to think of hiding it, but he could at least 
make sure whether or not its existence had been 
discovered. A hair laid across the page-ends was 
too obvious. With the tip of his finger he picked up 
an identifiable grain of whitish dust and deposited 
it on the comer of the cover, where it was bound to 
be shaken off if the book was moved. 


correspondiera. Fue al cuarto de bano y se froto 
cuidadosamente la tinta con el oscuro y rasposo 
jabon que le limaba la piel como un papel de lija y 
resultaba por tanto muy eficaz para su proposito. 


Guardo el Diario en el cajon de la mesita. Era inutil 
pretender esconderlo; pero, por lo menos, podia 
saber si lo habian descubierto o no. Un cabello 
sujeto entre las paginas serfa demasiado evidente. 
Por eso, con la yema de un dedo recogio una 
particula de polvo de posible identificacion y la 
deposito sobre una esquina de la tapa, de donde 
tendria que caerse si cogian el libro. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


51 


Chapter 3 

Winston was dreaming of his mother. 

He must, he thought, have been ten or eleven 
years old when his mother had disappeared. She 
was a tall, statuesque, rather silent woman with 
slow movements and magnificent fair hair. His 
father he remembered more vaguely as dark and 
thin, dressed always in neat dark clothes 
(Winston remembered especially the very thin 
soles of his father's shoes) and wearing 
spectacles. The two of them must evidently have 
been swallowed up in one of the first great 
purges of the fifties. 

At this moment his mother was sitting in some 
place deep down beneath him, with his young 
sister in her arms. He did not remember his sister 
at all, except as a tiny, feeble baby, always silent, 
with large, watchful eyes. Both of them were 
looking up at him. They were down in some 
subterranean place — the bottom of a well, for 
instance, or a very deep grave — but it was a 
place which, already far below him, was itself 
moving downwards. They were in the saloon of a 
sinking ship, looking up at him through the 
darkening water. There was still air in the saloon, 
they could still see him and he them, but all the 
while they were sinking down, down into the 
green waters which in another moment must hide 
them from sight for ever. He was out in the light 
and air while they were being sucked down to 
death, and they were down there because he was 
up here. He knew it and they knew it, and he 
could see the knowledge in their faces. There was 
no reproach either in their faces or in their hearts, 
only the knowledge that they must die in order 
that he might remain alive, and that this was part 
of the unavoidable order of things. 


CAPITULO III 


Winston estaba sonando con su madre. 


El debia de tener unos diez u once anos cuando su 
madre murio. Era una mujer alta, estatuaria y mas 
bien silenciosa, de movimientos pausados y 
magnffico cabello rubio. A su padre lo recordaba, 
mas vagamente, como un hombre moreno y delgado, 
vestido siempre con impecables trajes oscuros 
(Winston recordaba sobre todo las suelas 
extremadamente finas de los zapatos de su padre) y 
usaba gafas. Seguramente, tanto el padre como la 
madre debieron de haber caido en una de las 
primeras grandes purgcis de los anos cincuenta. 

En aquel momento en el sueno — su madre estaba 
sentada en un sitio profundo junto a el y con su nina 
en brazos. De esta hermana solo recordaba Winston 
que era una chiquilla debil e insignificante, siempre 
callada y con ojos grandes que se fijaban en todo. Se 
hallaban las dos en algun sitio subterraneo por 
ejemplo, el fondo de un pozo o en una cueva muy 
honda — , pero era un lugar que, estando ya muy por 
debajo de el, se iba hundiendo sin cesar. Si, era la 
camara de un barco que se hundia y la madre y la 
hermana lo miraban a el desde la tenebrosidad de las 
aguas que invadian el buque. Aun habia aire en la 
camara. Su madre y su hermanita podian verlo 
todavia y el a ellas, pero no dejaban de irse 
hundiendo ni un solo instante, de ir cayendo en las 
aguas, de un verde muy oscuro, que de un momento 
a otro las ocultanan para siempre. Winston, en 
cambio, se encontraba al aire libre y a plena luz 
mientras a ellas se las iba tragando la muerte, y ellas 
se hundian porque el estaba alii arriba. Winston lo 
sabia y tambien ellas lo sabian y el descubrfa en las 
caras de ellas este conocimiento. Pero la expresion 
de las dos no le reprochaba nada ni sus corazones 
tampoco — el lo sabia — y solo se transparentaba la 
conviccion de que ellas morfan para que el pudiera 
seguir viviendo alia arriba y que esto formaba parte 
del orden inevitable de las cosas. 


He could not remember what had happened, but No podia recordar que habia ocurrido, pero mientras 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


52 


he knew in his dream that in some way the lives 
of his mother and his sister had been sacrificed to 
his own. It was one of those dreams which, while 
retaining the characteristic dream scenery, are a 
continuation of one's intellectual life, and in 
which one becomes aware of facts and ideas 
which still seem new and valuable after one is 
awake. The thing that now suddenly struck 
Winston was that his mother's death, nearly thirty 
years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way 
that was no longer possible. Tragedy, he 
perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time 
when there was still privacy, love, and 
friendship, and when the members of a family 
stood by one another without needing to know 
the reason. His mother's memory tore at his heart 
because she had died loving him, when he was 
too young and selfish to love her in return, and 
because somehow, he did not remember how, she 
had sacrificed herself to a conception of loyalty 
that was private and unalterable. Such things, he 
saw, could not happen today. Today there were 
fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, 
no deep or complex sorrows. All this he seemed 
to see in the large eyes of his mother and his 
sister, looking up at him through the green water, 
hundreds of fathoms down and still sinking. 


Suddenly he was standing on short springy turf, 
on a summer evening when the slanting rays of 
the sun gilded the ground. The landscape that he 
was looking at recurred so often in his dreams 
that he was never fully certain whether or not he 
had seen it in the real world. In his waking 
thoughts he called it the Golden Country. It was 
an old, rabbit-bitten pasture, with a foot-track 
wandering across it and a molehill here and there. 
In the ragged hedge on the opposite side of the 
field the boughs of the elm trees were swaying 
very faintly in the breeze, their leaves just stirring 
in dense masses like women's hair. Somewhere 
near at hand, though out of sight, there was a 
clear, slow-moving stream where dace were 
swimming in the pools under the willow trees. 


The girl with dark hair was coming towards them 
across the field. With what seemed a single 


sonaba estaba seguro de que, de un modo u otro, las 
vidas de su madre y su hermana fueron sacrificadas 
para que el viviera. Era uno de esos ensuenos que, a 
pesar de utilizar toda la escenografia onirica habitual, 
son una continuacion de nuestra vida intelectual y en 
los que nos damos cuenta de hechos e ideas que 
siguen teniendo un valor despues del despertar. Pero 
lo que de pronto sobresalto a Winston, al pensar 
luego en lo que habia sonado, fue que la muerte de 
su madre, ocurrida treinta anos antes, habia sido 
tragica y dolorosa de un modo que ya no era posible. 
Penso que la tragedia pertenecia a los tiempos 
antiguos y que solo podia concebirse en una epoca en 
que habia aun intimidad — vida privada, amor y 
amistad — y en que los miembros de una familia 
permanecian juntos sin necesidad de tener una razon 
especial para ello. El recuerdo de su madre le 
torturaba porque habia muerto amandole cuando el 
era demasiado joven y egoista para devolverle ese 
carino y porque de alguna manera — no recordaba 
como — se habia sacrificado a un concepto de la 
lealtad que era privadisimo e inalterable. Bien 
comprendia Winston que esas cosas no podian 
suceder ahora. Lo que ahora habia era miedo, odio y 
dolor fisico, pero no emociones dignas ni penas 
profundas y complejas. Todo esto lo habia visto, 
sonando, en los ojos de su madre y su hermanita, que 
lo miraban a el a traves de las aguas verdeoscuras, a 
una inmensa profundidad y sin dejar de hundirse. 

De pronto, se vio de pie sobre el cesped en una tarde 
de verano en que los rayos oblicuos del sol doraban 
la corta hierba. El paisaje que se le aparecia ahora se 
le presentaba con tanta frecuencia en suenos que 
nunca estaba completamente seguro de si lo habia 
visto alguna vez en la vida real. Cuando estaba 
despierto, lo llamaba el Pais Dorado. Lo cubrian 
pastos mordidos por los conejos con un sendero que 
serpenteaba por el y, aqui y alia, unas pequenisimas 
elevaciones del terreno. Al fondo, se velan unos 
olmos que se balanceaban suavemente con la brisa y 
sus follajes parecian cabelleras de mujer. Cerca, 
aunque fuera de la vista, corrfa un claro arroyuelo de 
lento fluir. 


La muchacha morena venia hacia el por aquel 
campo. Con un solo movimiento se despojo de sus 



George Orwell 

movement she tore off her clothes and flung 
them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and 
smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed 
he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in 
that instant was admiration for the gesture with 
which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its 
grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a 
whole culture, a whole system of thought, as 
though Big Brother and the Party and the 
Thought Police could all be swept into 
nothingness by a single splendid movement of 
the arm. That too was a gesture belonging to the 
ancient time. Winston woke up with the word 
'Shakespeare' on his lips. 


The telescreen was giving forth an ear-splitting 
whistle which continued on the same note for 
thirty seconds. It was nought seven fifteen, 
getting-up time for office workers. Winston 
wrenched his body out of bed-naked, for a 
member of the Outer Party received only 3,000 
clothing coupons annually, and a suit of pyjamas 
was 600 — and seized a dingy singlet and a pair of 
shorts that were lying across a chair. The 
Physical Jerks would begin in three minutes. The 
next moment he was doubled up by a violent 
coughing fit which nearly always attacked him 
soon after waking up. It emptied his lungs so 
completely that he could only begin breathing 
again by lying on his back and taking a series of 
deep gasps. His veins had swelled with the effort 
of the cough, and the varicose ulcer had started 
itching. 

'Thirty to forty group!' yapped a piercing female 
voice. 'Thirty to forty group! Take your places, 
please. Thirties to forties!' 

Winston sprang to attention in front of the 
telescreen, upon which the image of a youngish 
woman, scrawny but muscular, dressed in tunic 
and gym-shoes, had already appeared. 


'Arms bending and stretching!' she rapped out. 
'Take your time by me. ONE, two, three, four! 
ONE, two, three, four! Come on, comrades, put a 


19 8 4 53 

ropas y las arrojo despectivamente a un lado. Su 
cuerpo era bianco y suave, pero no despertaba deseo 
en Winston, que se limitaba a contemplarlo. Lo que 
le llenaba de entusiasmo en aquel momento era el 
gesto con que la joven se habia librado de sus ropas. 
Con la gracia y el descuido de aquel gesto, parecia 
estar aniquilando toda su cultura, todo un sistema de 
pensamiento, como si el Gran Hermano, el Partido y 
la Policia del Pensamiento pudieran ser barridos y 
enviados a la Nada con un simple movimiento del 
brazo. Tambien aquel gesto pertenecia a los tiempos 
antiguos. Winston se desperto con la palabra 
«Shakespeare» en los labios. 


La telepantalla emitia en aquel instante un 
prolongado silbido que partia el timpano y que 
continuaba en la misma nota treinta segundos. Eran 
las cero — siete — quince, la hora de levantarse para 
los oficinistas. Winston se echo abajo de la cama 
desnudo porque los miembros del Partido Exterior 
recibian solo tres mil cupones para vestimenta 
durante el ano y un pijama necesitaba seiscientos 
cupones — y se puso un sucio singlet y unos shorts 
que estaban sobre una silla. Dentro de tres minutos 
empezanan las Sacudidas Fisicas. Inmediatamente le 
entro el ataque de tos habitual en el en cuanto se 
despertaba. Vacio tanto sus pulmones que, para 
volver a respirar, tuvo que tenderse de espaldas 
abriendo y cerrando la boca repetidas veces y en 
rapida sucesion. Con el esfuerzo de la tos se le 
hinchaban las venas y sus varices le habian 
empezado a escocer. 

— jGrupo de treinta a cuarenta! — ladro una 
penetrante voz de mujer — . jGrupo de treinta a 
cuarenta! Ocupad vuestros sitios, por favor. 

Winston se coloco de un salto a la vista de la 
telepantalla, en la cual habia aparecido ya la imagen 
de una mujer mas bien joven, musculoso y de 
facciones duras, vestida con una tunica y calzando 
sandalias de gimnasia. 

— jDoblad y extended los brazos! — grito — . 
jContad a la vez que yo! \Uno, dos, tres, cuatro! 
j Uno, dos, tres, cuatro! jVamos, camaradas, un poco 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


54 


bit of life into it! ONE, two, three four! ONE 
two, three, four!...' 


The pain of the coughing fit had not quite driven 
out of Winston's mind the impression made by 
his dream, and the rhythmic movements of the 
exercise restored it somewhat. As he 
mechanically shot his arms back and forth, 
wearing on his face the look of grim enjoyment 
which was considered proper during the Physical 
Jerks, he was struggling to think his way 
backward into the dim period of his early 
childhood. It was extraordinarily difficult. 
Beyond the late fifties everything faded. When 
there were no external records that you could 
refer to, even the outline of your own life lost its 
sharpness. You remembered huge events which 
had quite probably not happened, you 
remembered the detail of incidents without being 
able to recapture their atmosphere, and there 
were long blank periods to which you could 
assign nothing. Everything had been different 
then. Even the names of countries, and their 
shapes on the map, had been different. Airstrip 
One, for instance, had not been so called in those 
days: it had been called England or Britain, 
though London, he felt fairly certain, had always 
been called London. 


Winston could not definitely remember a time 
when his country had not been at war, but it was 
evident that there had been a fairly long interval 
of peace during his childhood, because one of his 
early memories was of an air raid which 
appeared to take everyone by surprise. Perhaps it 
was the time when the atomic bomb had fallen on 
Colchester. He did not remember the raid itself, 
but he did remember his father's hand clutching 
his own as they hurried down, down, down into 
some place deep in the earth, round and round a 
spiral staircase which rang under his feet and 
which finally so wearied his legs that he began 
whimpering and they had to stop and rest. His 
mother, in her slow, dreamy way, was following 
a long way behind them. She was carrying his 
baby sister — or perhaps it was only a bundle of 
blankets that she was carrying: he was not certain 


de vida en lo que haceis! j Uno, dos, tres, cuatro! 
j Uno, dos, tres, cuatro!... 

La intensa molestia de su ataque de tos no habia 
logrado desvanecer en Winston la impresion que le 
habia dejado el ensueno y los movimientos rftmicos 
de la gimnasia contribuian a conservarle aquel 
recuerdo. Mientras doblaba y desplegaba 
mecanicamente los brazos — sin perder ni por un 
instante la expresion de contento que se consideraba 
apropiada durante las Sacudidas Fisicas — , se 
esforzaba por resucitar el confuso periodo de su 
primera infancia. Pero le resultaba 
extraordinariamente dificil. Mas alia de los anos 
cincuenta y tantos — final de la decada — todo se 
desvanecia. Sin datos extemos de ninguna clase a 
que referirse era imposible reconstruir ni siquiera el 
esquema de la propia vida. Se recordaban los 
acontecimientos de enormes proporciones — que 
muy bien podian no haber acaecido — , se 
recordaban tambien detalles sueltos de hechos 
sucedidos en la infancia, de cada uno, pero sin poder 
captar la atmosfera. Y habia extensos periodos en 
bianco donde no se podia colocar absolutamente 
nada. Entonces todo habia sido diferente. Incluso los 
nombres de los paises y sus formas en el mapa. La 
Franja Aerea numero 1, por ejemplo, no se llamaba 
asi en aquellos dias: la llamaban Inglaterra o Bretana, 
aunque Londres — Winston estaba casi seguro de 
ello — se habia llamado siempre Londres. 

No podia recordar claramente una epoca en que su 
pais no hubiera estado en guerra, pero era evidente 
que habia un intervalo de paz bastante largo durante 
su infancia porque uno de sus primeros recuerdos era 
el de un ataque aereo que parecia haber cogido a 
todos por sorpresa. Quiza fue cuando la bomba 
atomica cayo en Colchester. No se acordaba del 
ataque propiamente dicho, pero si de la mano de su 
padre que le tenia cogida la suya mientras 
descendian precipitadamente por algun lugar 
subterraneo muy profundo, dando vueltas por una 
escalera de caracol que finalmente le habia cansado 
tanto las piemas que empezo a sollozar y su padre 
tuvo que dejarle descansar un poco. Su madre, lenta 
y pensativa como siempre, los seguia a bastante 
distancia. La madre llevaba a la hermanita de 
Winston, o quiza solo llevase un lio de mantas. 
Winston no estaba seguro de que su hermanita 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


55 


whether his sister had been bom then. Finally 
they had emerged into a noisy, crowded place 
which he had realized to be a Tube station. 


There were people sitting all over the stone- 
flagged floor, and other people, packed tightly 
together, were sitting on metal bunks, one above 
the other. Winston and his mother and father 
found themselves a place on the floor, and near 
them an old man and an old woman were sitting 
side by side on a bunk. The old man had on a 
decent dark suit and a black cloth cap pushed 
back from very white hair: his face was scarlet 
and his eyes were blue and full of tears. He 
reeked of gin. It seemed to breathe out of his skin 
in place of sweat, and one could have fancied 
that the tears welling from his eyes were pure 
gin. But though slightly drank he was also 
suffering under some grief that was genuine and 
unbearable. In his childish way Winston grasped 
that some terrible thing, something that was 
beyond forgiveness and could never be remedied, 
had just happened. It also seemed to him that he 
knew what it was. Someone whom the old man 
loved — a little granddaughter, perhaps — had 
been killed. Every few minutes the old man kept 
repeating: 


'We didn't ought to 'ave trusted 'em. I said so, 
Ma, didn't I? That's what comes of trusting 'em. I 
said so all along. We didn't ought to 'ave trusted 
the buggers.' 


But which buggers they didn't ought to have 
trusted Winston could not now remember. 


Since about that time, war had been literally 
continuous, though strictly speaking it had not 
always been the same war. For several months 
during his childhood there had been confused 
street fighting in London itself, some of which he 
remembered vividly. But to trace out the history 
of the whole period, to say who was fighting 
whom at any given moment, would have been 
utterly impossible, since no written record, and 
no spoken word, ever made mention of any other 


hubiera nacido por entonces. Por ultimo, 
desembocaron a un sitio ruidoso y atestado de gente, 
una estacion de Metro. 


Muchas personas se hallaban sentadas en el suelo de 
piedra y otras, arracimadas, se habian instalado en 
diversos objetos que llevaban. Winston y sus padres 
encontraron un sitio libre en el suelo y junto a ellos 
un viejo y una vieja se apretaban el uno contra el 
otro. El anciano vestla un buen traje oscuro y una 
boina de pano negro bajo la cual le asomaba 
abundante cabello muy bianco. Tenia la cara 
enrojecida; los ojos, azules y lacrimosos. Olla a 
ginebra. Esta parecla sallrsele por los poros en vez 
del sudor y podrfa haberse pensado que las lagrimas 
que le brotaban de los ojos eran ginebra pura. Sin 
embargo, a pesar de su borrachera, sufrfa de algun 
dolor autentico e insoportable. De un modo infantil, 
Winston comprendio que algo terrible, mas alia del 
perdon y que jamas podrfa tener remedio, acababa de 
ocurrirle al viejo. Tambien crela saber de que se 
trataba. Alguien a quien el anciano amaba, quizas 
alguna nietecita, habla muerto en el bombardeo. 
Cada pocos minutos, repetla el viejo: 


— No deblamos habernos fiado de ellos. <Wcrdad 
que te lo dije, abuelita? Nos ha pasado esto por 
fiamos de ellos. Siempre lo he dicho. Nunca debimos 
confiar en esos canallas. 


Lo que Winston no podia recordar es a quien se 
referfa el viejo y quienes eran esos de los que no 
habla que fiarse. 

Desde entonces, la guerra habla sido continua, 
aunque hablando con exactitud no se trataba siempre 
de la misma guerra. Durante algunos meses de su 
infancia habla habido una confusa lucha callejera en 
el mismo Londres y el recordaba con toda claridad 
algunas escenas. Pero hubiera sido imposible 
reconstruir la historia de aquel perlodo ni saber quien 
luchaba contra quien en un momento dado, pues no 
quedaba ningun documento ni pruebas de ninguna 
clase que permitieran pensar que la disposicion de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


56 


alignment than the existing one. At this moment, 
for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania 
was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with 
Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it 
ever admitted that the three powers had at any 
time been grouped along different lines. 
Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four 
years since Oceania had been at war with 
Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that 
was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which 
he happened to possess because his memory was 
not satisfactorily under control. Officially the 
change of partners had never happened. Oceania 
was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had 
always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of 
the moment always represented absolute evil, and 
it followed that any past or future agreement with 
him was impossible. 


The frightening thing, he reflected for the ten 
thousandth time as he forced his shoulders 
painfully backward (with hands on hips, they 
were gyrating their bodies from the waist, an 
exercise that was supposed to be good for the 
back muscles) — the frightening thing was that it 
might all be true. If the Party could thrust its 
hand into the past and say of this or that event, IT 
NEVER HAPPENED — that, surely, was more 
terrifying than mere torture and death? 


The Party said that Oceania had never been in 
alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew 
that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as 
short a time as four years ago. But where did that 
knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, 
which in any case must soon be annihilated. And 
if all others accepted the lie which the Party 
imposed — if all records told the same tale — then 
the lie passed into history and became truth. 
'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 
'controls the future: who controls the present 
controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its 
nature alterable, never had been altered. 
Whatever was true now was true from everlasting 
to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was 
needed was an unending series of victories over 
your own memory. 'Reality control', they called 


las fuerzas en lucha hubiera sido en algun momento 
distinta a la actual. Por ejemplo, en este momento, en 
1984 (si es que efectivamente era 1984), Oceania 
estaba en guerra con Eurasia y era aliada de Asia 
Oriental. En ningun discurso publico ni conversacion 
privada se admitla que estas tres potencias se 
hubieran hallado alguna vez en distinta posicion cada 
una respecto a las otras. Winston sabia muy bien que, 
hacia solo cuatro anos, Oceania habia estado en 
guerra contra Asia Orienta] y aliada con Eurasia. 
Pero aquello era solo un conocimiento furtivo que el 
tenia porque su memoria «fallaba» mucho, es decir, 
no estaba lo suficientemente controlada. 
Oficialmente, nunca se habia producido un cambio 
en las alianzas. Oceania estaba en guerra con 
Eurasia; por tanto, Oceania siempre habia luchado 
contra Eurasia. El enemigo circunstancial 
representaba siempre el absoluto mal, y de ahl 
resultaba que era totalmente imposible cualquier 
acuerdo pasado o futuro con el. 


Lo horrible, penso por diezmilesima vez mientras se 
forzaba los hombros dolorosamente hacia atras (con 
las manos en las caderas, giraban sus cuerpos por la 
cintura, ejercicio que se suponla conveniente para los 
musculos de la espalda), lo horrible era que todo ello 
podia ser verdad. Si el Partido podia alargar la mano 
hacia el pasado y decir que este o aquel 
acontecimiento nunca habia ocurrido, esto resultaba 
mucho mas horrible que la tortura y la muerte. 


El Partido dijo que Oceania nunca habia sido aliada 
de Eurasia. El, Winston Smith, sabia que Oceania 
habia estado aliada con Eurasia cuatro anos antes. 
Pero, ^donde constaba ese conocimiento? Solo en su 
propia conciencia, la cual, en todo caso, iba a ser 
aniquilada muy pronto. Y si todos los demas 
aceptaban la mentira que impuso el Partido, si todos 
los testimonios declan lo mismo, entonces la mentira 
pasaba a la Historia y se convertla en verdad. «E1 que 
controla el pasado — decla el slogan del Partido — , 
controla tambien el futuro. El que controla el 
presente, controla el pasado. » Y, sin embargo, el 
pasado, alterable por su misma naturaleza, nunca 
habia sido alterado. Todo lo que ahora era verdad, 
habia sido verdad eternamente y lo seguirla siendo. 
Era muy sencillo. Lo unico que se necesitaba era una 
interminable serie de victorias que cada persona 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


57 


it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'. 


'Stand easy!' barked the instructress, a little more 
genially. 

Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly 
refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away 
into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To 
know and not to know, to be conscious of 
complete truthfulness while telling carefully 
constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two 
opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to 
be contradictory and believing in both of them, to 
use logic against logic, to repudiate morality 
while laying claim to it, to believe that 
democracy was impossible and that the Party was 
the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it 
was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into 
memory again at the moment when it was 
needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and 
above all, to apply the same process to the 
process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: 
consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, 
once again, to become unconscious of the act of 
hypnosis you had just performed. Even to 
understand the word 'doublethink' involved the 
use of doublethink. 


The instructress had called them to attention 
again. 'And now let's see which of us can touch 
our toes!' she said enthusiastically. 'Right over 
from the hips, please, comrades. ONE-two! 
ONE-two!...' 


Winston loathed this exercise, which sent 
shooting pains all the way from his heels to his 
buttocks and often ended by bringing on another 
coughing fit. The half-pleasant quality went out 
of his meditations. The past, he reflected, had not 
merely been altered, it had been actually 
destroyed. For how could you establish even the 
most obvious fact when there existed no record 
outside your own memory? He tried to remember 
in what year he had first heard mention of Big 
Brother. He thought it must have been at some 


debfa lograr sobre su propia memoria. A esto le 
llamaban «control de la realidad». Pero en neolengua 
habfa una palabra especial para ello: doblepensar. 

— jDescansen! — ladro la instructora, cuya voz 
parecfa ahora menos malhumorada. 

Winston dejo caer los brazos de sus costados y 
volvio a llenar de aire sus pulmones. Su mente se 
deslizo por el laberfntico mundo del doplepensar. 
Saber y no saber, hallarse consciente de lo que es 
realmente verdad mientras se dicen mentiras 
cuidadosamente elaboradas, sostener 

simultaneamente dos opiniones sabiendo que son 
contradictorias y creer sin embargo en ambas; 
emplear la logica contra la logica, repudiar la 
moralidad mientras se recurre a ella, creer que la 
democracia es imposible y que el Partido es el 
guardian de la democracia; olvidar cuanto fuera 
necesario olvidar y, no obstante, recurrir a ello, 
volverlo a traer a la memoria en cuanto se necesitara 
y luego olvidarlo de nuevo; y, sobre todo, aplicar el 
mismo proceso al procedimiento mismo. Esta era la 
mas refinada sutileza del sistema: inducir 

conscientemente a la inconsciencia, y luego hacerse 
inconsciente para no reconocer que se habfa 
realizado un acto de autosugestion. Incluso 
comprender la palabra doblepensar implicaba el uso 
del doblepensar. 

La instructora habfa vuelto a llamarles la atencion: 

— Y ahora, a ver cuales de vosotros pueden tocarse 
los dedos de los pies sin doblar las rodillas — grito la 
mujer con gran entusiasmo — jPor favor, 
camaradas! jUno, dos! jUno, dos...! 

A Winston le fastidiaba indeciblemente este ejercicio 
que le hacfa doler todo el cuerpo y a veces le causaba 
golpes de tos. Ya no disfrutaba con sus meditaciones. 
El pasado, penso Winston, no solo habfa sido 
alterado, sino que estaba siendo destruido. Pues, 
^como iba usted a establecer el hecho mas evidente 
si no existfa mas prueba que el recuerdo de su propia 
memoria? Trato de recordar en que ano habfa ofdo 
hablar por primera vez del Gran Hermano. Crefa que 
debio de ser hacia el sesenta y tantos, pero era 
imposible estar seguro. Por supuesto, en los libros de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


58 


time in the sixties, but it was impossible to be 
certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big 
Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the 
Revolution since its very earliest days. His 
exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in 
time until already they extended into the fabulous 
world of the forties and the thirties, when the 
capitalists in their strange cylindrical hats still 
rode through the streets of London in great 
gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with 
glass sides. There was no knowing how much of 
this legend was true and how much invented. 
Winston could not even remember at what date 
the Party itself had come into existence. He did 
not believe he had ever heard the word Ingsoc 
before 1960, but it was possible that in its 
Oldspeak form — 'English Socialism', that is to 
say — it had been current earlier. Everything 
melted into mist. Sometimes, indeed, you could 
put your finger on a definite lie. It was not true, 
for example, as was claimed in the Party history 
books, that the Party had invented aeroplanes. He 
remembered aeroplanes since his earliest 
childhood. But you could prove nothing. There 
was never any evidence. Just once in his whole 
life he had held in his hands unmistakable 
documentary proof of the falsification of an 
historical fact. And on that occasion — 


'Smith!' screamed the shrewish voice from the 
telescreen. '6079 Smith W.! Yes, YOU! Bend 
lower, please! You can do better than that. You're 
not trying. Lower, please! THAT'S better, 
comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, 
and watch me.' 


A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over 
Winston's body. His face remained completely 
inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show 
resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could 
give you away. He stood watching while the 
instructress raised her arms above her head and — 
one could not say gracefully, but with remarkable 
neatness and efficiency — bent over and tucked 
the first joint of her fingers under her toes. 

'THERE, comrades! THAT'S how I want to see 
you doing it. Watch me again. I'm thirty-nine and 


historia editados por el Partido, el Gran Hermano 
figuraba como jefe y guardian de la Revolucion 
desde los primeros dias de esta. Sus hazanas habian 
ido retrocediendo en el tiempo cada vez mas y ya se 
extendian hasta el mundo fabuloso de los anos 
cuarenta y treinta cuando los capitalistas, con sus 
extranos sombreros cilmdricos, cruzaban todavia por 
las calles de Londres en relucientes automoviles o en 
coches de caballos — pues aun quedaban vehiculos 
de estos — , con lados de cristal. Desde luego, se 
ignoraba cuanto habia de cierto en esta leyenda y 
cuanto de inventado. Winston no podia recordar ni 
siquiera en que fecha habia empezado el Partido a 
existir. No creia haber oido la palabra «Ingsoc» antes 
de 1960. Pero era posible que en su forma 
viejolingiiistica es decir, «socialismo ingles» — 
hubiera existido antes. Todo se habia desvanecido en 
la niebla. Sin embargo, a veces era posible poner el 
dedo sobre una mentira concreta. Por ejemplo, no era 
verdad, como pretendian los libros de historia 
lanzados por el Partido, que este hubiera inventado 
los aeroplanos. Winston recordaba los aeroplanos 
desde su mas temprana infancia. Pero tampoco 
podria probarlo. Nunca se podia probar nada. Solo 
una vez en su vida habia tenido en sus manos la 
innegable prueba documental de la falsificacion de 
un hecho historico. Y en aquella ocasion... 


— [Smith! — chillo la voz de la telepantalla — ; 
[6079 Smith W! [Si, tu! [Inclinate mas, por favor! 
Puedes hacerlo mejor; es que no te esfuerzas; mas 
doblado, haz el favor. Ahora esta mucho mejor, 
camarada. Descansad todos y fijaos en mi. 


Winston sudaba por todo su cuerpo, pero su cara 
permanecia completamente inescrutable. [Nunca os 
manifested desanimados! [Nunca os mostreis 
resentidos! Un leve pestaneo podria traicioneros. Por 
eso, Winston miraba impavido a la instructora 
mientras esta levantaba los brazos por encima de la 
cabeza y, si no con gracia, si con notable precision y 
eficacia, se doblo y se toco los dedos de los pies sin 
doblar las rodillas. 


— [Ya habeis visto, camaradas; asi es como quiero 
que lo hagais! Miradme otra vez. Tengo treinta y 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


59 


I've had four children. Now look.' She bent over nueve anos y cuatro hijos. Mirad — volvio a 
again. 'You see MY knees aren't bent. You can doblarse. Ya veis que mis rodillas no se han doblado. 
all do it if you want to,' she added as she Todos Vosotros podeis hacerlo si quereis — anadio 
straightened herself up. 'Anyone under forty-five mientras se ponfa derecha — . Cualquier persona de 
is perfectly capable of touching his toes. We menos de cuarenta y cinco anos es perfectamente 
don't all have the privilege of fighting in the front capaz de tocarse asi los dedos de los pies. No todos 
line, but at least we can all keep fit. Remember nosotros tenemos el privilegio de luchar en el frente, 
our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in pero por lo menos podemos mantenemos en forma, 
the Floating Fortresses! Just think what THEY jRecordad a nuestros muchachos en el frente 
have to put up with. Now try again. That's better, malabar! jY a los marineros de las fortalezas 
comrade, that's MUCH better,' she added flotantes! Pensad en las penalidades que han de 
encouragingly as Winston, with a violent lunge, soportar. Ahora, probad otra vez. Eso esta mejor, 
succeeded in touching his toes with knees camaradas, mucho mejor — anadio en tono 
unbent, for the first time in several years. estimulante dirigiendose a Winston, el cual, con un 

violento esfuerzo, habia logrado tocarse los dedos de 
los pies sin doblar las rodillas. Desde varios anos 
atras, no lo consegufa. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


60 


Chapter 4 

With the deep, unconscious sigh which not even 
the nearness of the telescreen could prevent him 
from uttering when his day's work started, Winston 
pulled the speakwrite towards him, blew the dust 
from its mouthpiece, and put on his spectacles. 
Then he unrolled and clipped together four small 
cylinders of paper which had already flopped out of 
the pneumatic tube on the right-hand side of his 
desk. 


In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. 
To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic 
tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one 
for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy 
reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit 
protected by a wire grating. This last was for the 
disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in 
thousands or tens of thousands throughout the 
building, not only in every room but at short 
intervals in every corridor. For some reason they 
were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew 
that any document was due for destruction, or even 
when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it 
was an automatic action to lift the flap of the 
nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it 
would be whirled away on a current of warm air to 
the enormous furnaces which were hidden 
somewhere in the recesses of the building. 


Winston examined the four slips of paper which he 
had unrolled. Each contained a message of only 
one or two lines, in the abbreviated jargon — not 
actually Newspeak, but consisting largely of 
Newspeak words — which was used in the Ministry 
for internal purposes. They ran: 


times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify 


times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 


CAPITULO IV 


Con el hondo e inconsciente suspiro que ni siquiera 
la proximidad de la telepantalla podia ahogarle 
cuando empezaba el trabajo del dfa, Winston se 
acerco al hablescribe, soplo para sacudir el polvo 
del microfono y se puso las gafas. Luego 
desenrollo y junto con un clip cuatro pequenos 
cilindros de papel que acababan de caer del tubo 
neumatico sobre el lado derecho de su mesa de 
despacho. 

En las paredes de la cabina habfa tres orificios. A 
la derecha del hablescribe, un pequeno tubo 
neumatico para mensajes escritos, a la Izquierda, 
un tubo mas ancho para los periodicos; y en la otra 
pared, de manera que Winston lo tenia a mano, una 
hendidura grande y oblonga protegida por una 
rejilla de alambre. Esta ultima servfa para tirar el 
papel inservible. Habfa hendiduras semejantes a 
miles o a docenas de miles por todo el edificio, no 
solo en cada habitacion, sino a lo largo de todos los 
pasillos, a pequenos intervalos. Les llamaban 
«agujeros de la memoria». Cuando un empleado 
sabfa que un documento habfa de ser destruido, o 
incluso cuando alguien vefa un pedazo de papel 
por el suelo y por alguna mesa, constitufa ya un 
acto automatico levantar la tapa del mas cercano 
«agujero de la memoria» y tirar el papel en el. Una 
corriente de aire caliente se llevaba el papel en 
seguida hasta los enormes hornos ocultos en algun 
lugar desconocido de los sotanos del edificio. 

Winston examino las cuatro franjas de papel que 
habfa desenrollado. Cada una de ellas contenfa una 
o dos lfneas escritas en el argot abreviado (no era 
exactamente neolengua, pero consistfa 
principalmente en palabras neolingiffsticas) que se 
usaba en el Ministerio para fines intemos. Decfan 
asf: 


times 17.3.84. discurso gh malregistrado africa 
rectificar 


times 19.12.83 predicciones plantrienal cuarto 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


61 


misprints verify current issue 

times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate 
rectify 


times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder 
doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise 
upsub antefiling 

With a faint feeling of satisfaction Winston laid the 
fourth message aside. It was an intricate and 
responsible job and had better be dealt with last. 
The other three were routine matters, though the 
second one would probablymean some tedious 
wading through lists of figures. 


Winston dialled 'back numbers' on the telescreen 
and called for the appropriate issues of 'The Times', 
which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a 
few minutes' delay. The messages he had received 
referred to articles or news items which for one 
reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, 
or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify. 
Forexample, it appeared from 'The Times' of the 
seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his 
speech of the previous day, had predicted that the 
South Indian front would remain quiet but that a 
Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in 
North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher 
Command had launched its offensive in South 
India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore 
necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother's 
speech, in such a way as to make him predict the 
thing that had actually happened. Or again, 'The 
Times' of the nineteenth of December had 
published the official forecasts of the output of 
various classes of consumption goods in the fourth 
quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of 
the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today's issue contained 
a statement of the actual output, from which it 
appeared that the forecasts were in every instance 
grossly wrong. Winston's job was to rectify the 
original figures by making them agree with the 
later ones. As for the third message, it referred to a 
very simple error which could be set right in a 
couple of minutes. As short a time ago as February, 


trimestre 83 erratas comprobar numero corriente 

times 14.2.84. Minibundancia malcitado chocolate 
rectificar 


times 3.12.83 referente ordendfa gh 
doblemasnobueno refs nopersonas reescribir 
completo someter antesarchivar 

Con cierta satisfaccion aparto Winston el cuarto 
mensaje. Era un asunto intrincado y de 
responsabilidad y preferfa ocuparse de el al final. 
Los otros tres eran tarea rutinaria, aunque el 
segundo le iba a costar probablemente buscar una 
serie de datos fastidiosos. 


Winston pidio por la telepantalla los numeros 
necesarios del Times , que le llegaron por el tubo 
neumatico pocos minutos despues. Los mensajes 
que habfa recibido se referfan a artfculos o noticias 
que por una u otra razon era necesario cambiar, o, 
como se decfa oficialmente, rectificar. Por 
ejemplo, en el numero del Times correspondiente 
al 17 de marzo se decfa que el Gran Hermano, en 
su discurso del dfa anterior, habfa predicho que el 
frente de la India Meridional seguirfa en calma, 
pero que, en cambio, se desencadenarfa una 
ofensiva eurasiatica muy pronto en Africa del 
Norte. Como quiera que el alto mando de Eurasia 
habfa iniciado su ofensiva en la India del Sur y 
habfa dejado tranquila al Africa del Norte, era por 
tanto necesario escribir un nuevo parrafo del 
discurso del Gran Hermano, con objeto de hacerle 
predecir lo que habfa ocurrido efectivamente. Y en 
el Times del 19 de diciembre del ano anterior se 
habfan publicado los pronosticos oficiales sobre el 
consumo de ciertos productos en el cuarto 
trimestre de 1983, que era tambien el sexto grupo 
del noveno plan trienal. Pues bien, el numero de 
hoy contenfa una referencia al consumo efectivo y 
resultaba que los pronosticos se habfan equivocado 
muchfsimo. El trabajo de Winston consistfa en 
cambiar las cifras originales haciendolas coincidir 
con las posteriores. En cuanto al tercer mensaje, se 
referfa a un error muy sencillo que se podfa 
arreglar en un par de minutos. Muy poco tiempo 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


62 


the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a 
'categorical pledge' were the official words) that 
there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration 
during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the 
chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty 
grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. 
All that was needed was to substitute for the 
original promise a warning that it would probably 
be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in 
April. 


As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the 
messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections 
to the appropriate copy of 'The Times' and pushed 
them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a 
movement which was as nearly as possible 
unconscious, he crumpled up the original message 
and any notes that he himself had made, and 
dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured 
by the flames. 


What happened in the unseen labyrinth to which 
the pneumatic tubes led, he did not know in detail, 
but he did know in general terms. As soon as all the 
corrections which happened to be necessary in any 
particular number of 'The Times' had been 
assembled and collated, that number would be 
reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the 
corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This 
process of continuous alteration was applied not 
only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, 
pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, 
cartoons, photographs — to every kind of literature 
or documentation which might conceivably hold 
any political or ideological significance. Day by 
day and almost minute by minute the past was 
brought up to date. In this way every prediction 
made by the Party could be shown by documentary 
evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of 
news, or any expression of opinion, which 
conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever 
allowed to remain on record. All history was a 
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly 
as often as was necessary. In no case would it have 
been possible, once the deed was done, to prove 
that any falsification had taken place. The largest 
section of the Records Department, far larger than 


antes, en febrero, el Ministerio de la Abundancia 
habfa lanzado la promesa (oficialmente se le 
llamaba «compromiso categorico») de que no 
habrfa reduccion de la racion de chocolate durante 
el ano 1984. Pero la verdad era, como Winston 
sabfa muy bien, que la racion de chocolate serfa 
reducida, de los treinta gramos que daban, a veinte 
al final de aquella semana. Como se vera, el error 
era insignificante y el unico cambio necesario era 
sustituir la promesa original por la advertencia de 
que probablemente habrfa que reducir la racion 
hacia el mes de abril. 


Cuando Winston tuvo preparadas las correcciones 
las unio con un clip al ejemplar del Times que le 
hablan enviado y los mando por el tubo neumatico. 
Entonces, con un movimiento casi inconsciente, 
arrugo los mensajes originales y todas las notas 
que el habfa hecho sobre el asunto y los tiro por el 
«agujero de la memoria» para que los devoraran 
las llamas. 


El no sabfa con exactitud lo que sucedfa en el 
invisible laberinto adonde iban a parar los tubos 
neumaticos, pero tenfa una idea general. En cuanto 
se reunran y ordenaban todas las correcciones que 
habfa sido necesario introducir en un numero 
determinado del Times, ese numero volvfa a ser 
impreso, el ejemplar primitivo se destrura y el 
ejemplar corregido ocupaba su puesto en el 
archivo. Este proceso de continua alteracion no se 
aplicaba solo a los periodicos, sino a los libros, 
revistas, folletos, carteles, programas, pelfculas, 
bandas sonoras, historietas para ninos, 

fotograffas..., es decir, a toda clase de 

documentacion o literatura que pudiera tener algun 
significado politico o ideologico. Diariamente y 
casi minuto por minuto, el pasado era puesto al dfa. 
De este modo, todas las predicciones hechas por el 
Partido resultaban acertadas segun prueba 

documental. Toda la historia se convertra asf en un 
palimpsesto, raspado y vuelto a escribir con toda la 
frecuencia necesaria. En ningun caso habrfa sido 
posible demostrar la existencia de una 

falsificacion. La seccion mas nutrida del 
Departamento de Registro, mucho mayor que 
aquella donde trabajaba Winston, se componfa 
sencillamente de personas cuyo deber era recoger 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


63 


the one on which Winston worked, consisted 
simply of persons whose duty it was to track down 
and collect all copies of books, newspapers, and 
other documents which had been superseded and 
were due for destruction. A number of The Times' 
which might, because of changes in political 
alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big 
Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still 
stood on the files bearing its original date, and no 
other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, 
were recalled and rewritten again and again, and 
were invariably reissued without any admission 
that any alteration had been made. Even the written 
instructions which Winston received, and which he 
invariably got rid of as soon as he had dealt with 
them, never stated or implied that an act of forgery 
was to be committed: always the reference was to 
slips, errors, misprints, or misquotations which it 
was necessary to put right in the interests of 
accuracy. 

But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the 
Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even 
forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece 
of nonsense for another. Most of the material that 
you were dealing with had no connexion with 
anything in the real world, not even the kind of 
connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics 
were just as much a fantasy in their original version 
as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time 
you were expected to make them up out of your 
head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty's forecast 
had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at 
145 million pairs. The actual output was given as 
sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting 
the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty- seven 
millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the 
quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two 
millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven 
millions, or than 145 millions. Very likely no boots 
had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody 
knew how many had been produced, much less 
cared. All one knew was that every quarter 
astronomical numbers of boots were produced on 
paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania 
went barefoot. And so it was with every class of 
recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded 
away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even 
the date of the year had become uncertain. 


todos los ejemplares de libros, diarios y otros 
documentos que se hubieran quedado atrasados y 
tuvieran que ser destruidos. Un numero del Times 
que — a causa de cambios en la politica exterior o 
de profecias equivocadas hechas por el Gran 
Hermano — hubiera tenido que ser escrito de 
nuevo una docena de veces, seguia estando en los 
archivos con su fecha original y no existia ningiin 
otro ejemplar para contradecirlo. Tambien los 
libros eran recogidos y reescritos muchas veces y 
cuando se volvian a editar no se confesaba que se 
hubiera introducido modificacion alguna. Incluso 
las instrucciones escritas que recibia Winston y 
que el hacia desaparecer invariablemente en cuanto 
se enteraba de su contenido, nunca daban a 
entender ni remotamente que se estuviera 
cometiendo una falsificacion. Solo se referfan a 
erratas de imprenta o a citas equivocadas que era 
necesario poner bien en interes de la verdad. 


Lo mas curioso era — penso Winston mientras 
arreglaba las cifras del Ministerio de la 
Abundancia — que ni siquiera se trataba de una 
falsificacion. Era, sencillamente, la sustitucion de 
un tipo de tonterfas por otro. La mayor parte del 
material que alii manejaban no tenia relacion 
alguna con el mundo real, ni siquiera en esa 
conexion que implica una mentira directa. Las 
estadisticas eran tan fantasticas en su version 
original como en la rectificada. En la mayor parte 
de los casos, tenia que sacarselas el funcionario de 
su cabeza. Por ejemplo, las predicciones del 
Ministerio de la Abundancia calculaban la 
produccion de botas para el trimestre venidero en 
ciento cuarenta y cinco millones de pares. Pues 
bien, la cantidad efectiva fue de sesenta y dos 
millones de pares. Es decir, la cantidad declarada 
oficialmente. Sin embargo, Winston, al modificar 
ahora la «prediccion», rebajo la cantidad a 
cincuenta y siete millones, para que resultara 
posible la habitual declaracion de que se habia 
superado la produccion. En todo caso, sesenta y 
dos millones no se acercaban a la verdad mas que 
los cincuenta y siete millones o los ciento cuarenta 
y cinco. Lo mas probable es que no se hubieran 
producido botas en absolute. Nadie sabia en 
definitiva cuanto se habia producido ni le 
importaba. Lo unico de que se estaba seguro era de 
que cada trimestre se producian sobre el papel 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


64 


Winston glanced across the hall. In the 
corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, 
precise-looking, dark-chinned man named 
Tillotson was working steadily away, with a folded 
newspaper on his knee and his mouth very close to 
the mouthpiece of the speakwrite. He had the air of 
trying to keep what he was saying a secret between 
himself and the telescreen. He looked up, and his 
spectacles darted a hostile flash in Winston's 
direction. 


Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and had no idea 
what work he was employed on. People in the 
Records Department did not readily talk about their 
jobs. In the long, windowless hall, with its double 
row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and 
hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there 
were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not 
even know by name, though he daily saw them 
hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating 
in the Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the 
cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy 
hair toiled day in day out, simply at tracking down 
and deleting from the Press the names of people 
who had been vaporized and were therefore 
considered never to have existed. There was a 
certain fitness in this, since her own husband had 
been vaporized a couple of years earlier. And a few 
cubicles away a mild, ineffectual, dreamy creature 
named Ampleforth, with very hairy ears and a 
surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and 
metres, was engaged in producing garbled 
versions — definitive texts, they were called — of 
poems which had become ideologically offensive, 
but which for one reason or another were to be 
retained in the anthologies. And this hall, with its 
fifty workers or thereabouts, was only one sub- 
section, a single cell, as it were, in the huge 
complexity of the Records Department. Beyond, 
above, below, were other swarms of workers 
engaged in an unimaginable multitude of jobs. 
There were the huge printing-shops with their sub- 


cantidades astronomicas de botas mientras que 
media poblacion de Oceania iba descalza. Y lo 
mismo ocurria con los demas datos, importantes o 
minusculos, que se registraban. Todo se disolvia en 
un mundo de sombras en el cual incluso la fecha 
del ano era insegura. 


Winston miro hacia el vestibulo. En la cabina de 
enfrente trabajaba un hombre pequenito, de aire 
eficaz, llamado Tillotson, con un periodico 
doblado sobre sus rodillas y la boca muy cerca de 
la bocina del hablescribe. Daba la impresion de 
que lo que decia era un secreto entre el y la 
telepantalla. Levanto la vista y los cristales de sus 
gafas le lanzaron a Winston unos reflejos hostiles. 


Winston no conocia apenas a Tillotson ni tenia 
idea de la clase de trabajo que le habian 
encomendado. Los funcionarios del Departamento 
del Registro no hablaban de sus tareas. En el largo 
vestibulo, sin ventanas, con su doble fila de 
cabinas y su interminable ruido de periodicos y el 
murmullo de las voces junto a los hablescribe, 
habia por lo menos una docena de personas a las 
que Winston no conocia ni siquiera de nombre, 
aunque los veia diariamente apresurandose por los 
pasillos o gesticulando en los Dos Minutos de 
Odio. Sabia que en la cabina vecina a la suya la 
mujercilla del cabello arenoso trabajaba en 
descubrir y borrar en los numeros atrasados de la 
Prensa los nombres de las personas vaporizadas, 
las cuales se consideraba que nunca habian 
existido. Ella estaba especialmente capacitada para 
este trabajo, ya que su propio marido habia sido 
vaporizado dos anos antes. Y pocas cabinas mas 
alia, un individuo suave, sonador e ineficaz, 
llamado Ampleforth, con orejas muy peludas y un 
talento sorprendente para rimar y medir los versos, 
estaba encargado de producir los textos definitivos 
de poemas que se habian hecho ideologic amente 
ofensivos, pero que, por una u otra razon. 
Continuaban en las antologias. Este vestibulo, con 
sus cincuenta funcionarios, era solo una 
subseccion, una pequenisima celula de la enorme 
complejidad del Departamento de Registro. Mas 
alia, arriba, abajo, trabajaban otros enjambres de 
funcionarios en multitud de tareas increibles. Alii 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


65 


editors, their typography experts, and their 
elaborately equipped studios for the faking of 
photographs. There was the tele -programmes 
section with its engineers, its producers, and its 
teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in 
imitating voices. There were the armies of 
reference clerks whose job was simply to draw up 
lists of books and periodicals which were due for 
recall. There were the vast repositories where the 
corrected documents were stored, and the hidden 
furnaces where the original copies were destroyed. 
And somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there 
were the directing brains who co-ordinated the 
whole effort and laid down the lines of policy 
which made it necessary that this fragment of the 
past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the 
other rubbed out of existence. 


And the Records Department, after all, was itself 
only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, 
whose primary job was not to reconstruct the past 
but to supply the citizens of Oceania with 
newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen 
programmes, plays, novels — with every 

conceivable kind of information, instruction, or 
entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a 
lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a 
child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary. 
And the Ministry had not only to supply the 
multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat 
the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit 
of the proletariat. There was a whole chain of 
separate departments dealing with proletarian 
literature, music, drama, and entertainment 
generally. Here were produced rubbishy 
newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, 
crime and astrology, sensational five-cent 
novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental 
songs which were composed entirely by 
mechanical means on a special kind of 
kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was 
even a whole sub-section — Pornosec, it was called 
in Newspeak — engaged in producing the lowest 
kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed 
packets and which no Party member, other than 
those who worked on it, was permitted to look at. 


Three messages had slid out of the pneumatic tube 


estaban las grandes imprentas con sus expertos en 
tipografia y sus bien dotados estudios para la 
falsificacion de fotografias. Habia la seccion de 
teleprogramas con sus ingenieros, sus directores y 
equipos de actores escogidos especialmente por su 
habilidad para imitar voces. Habia tambien un gran 
numero de empleados cuya labor solo consistia en 
redactar listas de libros y periodicos que debian ser 
«repasados». Los documentos corregidos se 
guardaban y los ejemplares originales eran 
destruidos en hornos ocultos. Por ultimo, en un 
lugar desconocido estaban los cerebros directores 
que coordinaban todos estos esfuerzos y 
establecian las lineas politicas segun las cuales un 
fragmento del pasado habia de ser conservado, 
falsificado otro, y otro borrado de la existencia. 


El Departamento de Registro, despues de todo, no 
era mas que una simple rama del Ministerio de la 
Verdad, cuya principal tarea no era reconstruir el 
pasado, sino proporcionarles a los ciudadanos de 
Oceania periodicos, peliculas, libros de texto, 
programas de telepantalla, comedias, novelas, con 
toda clase de informacion, instruccion o 

entretenimiento. Fabricaban desde una estatua a un 
slogan, de un poema lirico a un tratado de biologia 
y desde la cartilla de los parvulos hasta el 
diccionario de neolengua...Y el Ministerio no solo 
tenia que atender a las multiples necesidades del 
Partido, sino repetir toda la operacion en un nivel 
mas bajo a beneficio del proletariado. Habia toda 
una cadena de secciones separadas que se 
ocupaban de la literatura, la musica, el teatro y, en 
general, de todos los entretenimientos para los 
proletaries. Alii se producian periodicos que no 
contenian mas que informaciones deportivas, 
sucesos y astrologia, noveluchas sensacionalistas, 
peliculas que rezumaban sexo y canciones 
sentimentales compuestas por medios 
exclusivamente mecanicos en una especie de 
calidoscopio llamado versificaclor Habia incluso 
una seccion conocida en neolengua con el nombre 
de Pornosec, encargada de producir pomografia de 
clase infima y que era enviada en paquetes sellados 
que ningun miembro del Partido, aparte de los que 
trabajaban en la seccion, podia abrir. 

Habian salido tres mensajes por el tubo neumatico 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


66 


while Winston was working, but they were simple 
matters, and he had disposed of them before the 
Two Minutes Hate interrupted him. When the Hate 
was over he returned to his cubicle, took the 
Newspeak dictionary from the shelf, pushed the 
speakwrite to one side, cleaned his spectacles, and 
settled down to his main job of the morning. 


Winston's greatest pleasure in life was in his work. 
Most of it was a tedious routine, but included in it 
there were also jobs so difficult and intricate that 
you could lose yourself in them as in the depths of 
a mathematical problem — delicate pieces of 
forgery in which you had nothing to guide you 
except your knowledge of the principles of Ingsoc 
and your estimate of what the Party wanted you to 
say. Winston was good at this kind of thing. On 
occasion he had even been entrusted with the 
rectification of The Times' leading articles, which 
were written entirely in Newspeak. He unrolled the 
message that he had set aside earlier. It ran: 


times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder 
doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise 
upsub antefiling 

In Oldspeak (or standard English) this might be 
rendered: 


The reporting of Big Brother's Order for the Day in 
'The Times' of December 3rd 1983 is extremely 
unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent 
persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to 
higher authority before filing. 


Winston read through the offending article. Big 
Brother's Order for the Day, it seemed, had been 
chiefly devoted to praising the work of an 
organization known as FFCC, which supplied 
cigarettes and other comforts to the sailors in the 
Floating Fortresses. A certain Comrade Withers, a 
prominent member of the Inner Party, had been 
singled out for special mention and awarded a 


mientras Winston trabajaba, pero se trataba de 
asuntos corrientes y los habia despachado antes de 
ser interrumpido por los Dos Minutos de Odio. 
Cuando el odio termino, volvio Winston a su 
cabina, saco del estante el diccionario de 
neolengua, aparto a un lado el hablescribe, se 
limpio las gafas y se dedico a su principal 
cometido de la manana. 


El mayor placer de Winston era su trabajo. Fa 
mayor parte de este consistla en una aburrida 
rutina, pero tambien inclula labores tan diflciles e 
intrincadas que se perdla uno en ellas como en las 
profundidades de un problema de matematicas: 
delicadas labores de falsificacion en que solo se 
podia guiar uno por su conocimiento de los 
principios del Ingsoc y el calculo de lo que el 
Partido querfa que uno dijera. Winston servia para 
esto. En una ocasion le encargaron incluso la 
rectificacion de los editoriales del Times , que 
estaban escritos totalmente en neolengua. 
Desenrollo el mensaje que antes habia dejado a un 
lado como mas dificil. Decia: 


times 3.12.83 referente ordendia gh 
doblemasnobueno refs nopersonas reescribir 
completo someter antesarchivar. 

En antiguo idioma (en ingles) quedaba asi: 


Fa informacion sobre la orden del dia del Gran 
Hermano en el Times del 3 de diciembre de 1983 
es absolutamente insatisfactoria y se refiere a las 
personas inexistentes. Volverlo a escribir por 
completo y someter el borrador a la autoridad 
superior antes de archivar. 


Winston leyo el articulo ofensivo. Fa orden del dia 
del Gran Hermano se dedicaba a alabar el trabajo 
de una organizacion conocida por FFCC, que 
proporcionaba cigarrillos y otras cosas a los 
marineros de las fortalezas flotantes. Cierto 
camarada Withers, destacado miembro del Partido 
Interior, habia sido agraciado con una mencion 
especial y le habian concedido una condecoracion, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


67 


decoration, the Order of Conspicuous Merit, 
Second Class. 


Three months later FFCC had suddenly been 
dissolved with no reasons given. One could assume 
that Withers and his associates were now in 
disgrace, but there had been no report of the matter 
in the Press or on the telescreen. That was to be 
expected, since it was unusual for political 
offenders to be put on trial or even publicly 
denounced. The great purges involving thousands 
of people, with public trials of traitors and thought- 
criminals who made abject confession of their 
crimes and were afterwards executed, were special 
show-pieces not occurring oftener than once in a 
couple of years. More commonly, people who had 
incurred the displeasure of the Party simply 
disappeared and were never heard of again. One 
never had the smallest clue as to what had 
happened to them. In some cases they might not 
even be dead. Perhaps thirty people personally 
known to Winston, not counting his parents, had 
disappeared at one time or another. 


Winston stroked his nose gently with a paper-clip. 
In the cubicle across the way Comrade Tillotson 
was still crouching secretively over his speakwrite. 
He raised his head for a moment: again the hostile 
spectacle-flash. Winston wondered whether 
Comrade Tillotson was engaged on the same job as 
himself. It was perfectly possible. So tricky a piece 
of work would never be entrusted to a single 
person: on the other hand, to turn it over to a 
committee would be to admit openly that an act of 
fabrication was taking place. Very likely as many 
as a dozen people were now working away on rival 
versions of what Big Brother had actually said. 
And presently some master brain in the Inner Party 
would select this version or that, would re-edit it 
and set in motion the complex processes of cross- 
referencing that would be required, and then the 
chosen lie would pass into the permanent records 
and become truth. 


la Orden del Merito Conspicuo, de segunda clase. 


Tres meses despues, la FFCC habia sido disuelta 
sin que se supieran los motivos. Podia pensarse 
que Withers y sus asociados habian caido en 
desgracia, pero no habia informacion alguna sobre 
el asunto en la Prensa ni en la telepantalla. Era lo 
corriente, ya que muy raras veces se procesaba ni 
se denunciaba publicamente a los delincuentes 
politicos. Las grandes «purgas» que afectaban a 
millares de personas, con procesos publicos de 
traidores y criminales del pensamiento que 
confesaban abyectamente sus crfmenes para ser 
luego ejecutados, constituian espectaculos 
especiales que se daban solo una vez cada dos 
anos. Lo habitual era que las personas caidas en 
desgracia desapareciesen sencillamente y no se 
volviera a oir hablar de ellas. Nunca se tenia la 
menor noticia de lo que pudiera haberles ocurrido. 
En algunos casos, ni siquiera habian muerto. 
Aparte de sus padres, unas treinta personas 
conocidas por Winston habian desaparecido en una 
u otra ocasion. 


Mientras pensaba en todo esto, Winston se daba 
golpecitos en la nariz con un sujetador de papeles. 
En la cabina de enfrente, el camarada Tillotson 
seguia misteriosamente inclinado sobre su 
hablescribe. Levanto la cabeza un momento. Otra 
vez, los destellos hostiles de las gafas. Winston se 
pregunto si el camarada Tillotson estaria encargado 
del mismo trabajo que el. Era perfectamente 
posible. Una tarea tan dificil y complicada no 
podia estar a cargo de una sola persona. Por otra 
parte, encargarla a un grupo serfa admitir 
abiertamente que se estaba realizando una 
falsificacion. Muy probablemente, una docena de 
personas trabajaban al mismo tiempo en distintas 
versiones rivales para inventar lo que el Gran 
Hermano habia dicho «efectivamente». Y, despues, 
algun cerebro privilegiado del Partido Interior 
elegirfa esta o aquella version, la redactaria 
definitivamente a su manera y pondria en 
movimiento el complejo proceso de 
confrontaciones necesarias. Luego, la mentira 
elegida pasaria a los registros permanentes y se 
convertiria en la verdad. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


68 


Winston did not know why Withers had been 
disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or 
incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely 
getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps 
Withers or someone close to him had been 
suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps — 
what was likeliest of all — the thing had simply 
happened because purges and vaporizations were a 
necessary part of the mechanics of government. 
The only real clue lay in the words 'refs unpersons', 
which indicated that Withers was already dead. 
You could not invariably assume this to be the case 
when people were arrested. Sometimes they were 
released and allowed to remain at liberty for as 
much as a year or two years before being executed. 
Very occasionally some person whom you had 
believed dead long since would make a ghostly 
reappearance at some public trial where he would 
implicate hundreds of others by his testimony 
before vanishing, this time for ever. Withers, 
however, was already an UNPERSON. He did not 
exist: he had never existed. Winston decided that it 
would not be enough simply to reverse the 
tendency of Big Brother's speech. It was better to 
make it deal with something totally unconnected 
with its original subject. 


He might turn the speech into the usual 
denunciation of traitors and thought-criminals, but 
that was a little too obvious, while to invent a 
victory at the front, or some triumph of over- 
production in the Ninth Three- Year Plan, might 
complicate the records too much. What was needed 
was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang 
into his mind, ready made as it were, the image of a 
certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in 
battle, in heroic circumstances. There were 
occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order for 
the Day to commemorating some humble, rank- 
and-file Party member whose life and death he held 
up as an example worthy to be followed. Today he 
should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true 
that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, 
but a few lines of print and a couple of faked 


Winston no sabia por que habia caido Withers en 
desgracia. Quizas fuera por corrupcion o 
incompetencia. O quizas el Gran Hermano se 
hubiera librado de un subordinado demasiado 
popular. Tambien pudiera ser que Withers o alguno 
relacionado con el hubiera sido acusado de 
tendencias hereticas. O quizas — y esto era lo mas 
probable hubiese ocurrido aquello sencillamente 
porque las «purgas» y las vaporizaciones eran 
parte necesaria de la mecanica gubernamental. El 
unico indicio real era el contenido en las palabras 
«refs nopersonas », con lo que se indicaba que 
Withers estaba ya muerto. Pero no siempre se 
podia presumir que un individuo hubiera muerto 
por el hecho de haber desaparecido. A veces los 
soltaban y los dejaban en libertad durante uno o 
dos anos antes de ser ejecutados. De vez en 
cuando, algun individuo a quien se creia muerto 
desde hacia mucho tiempo, reaparecia como un 
fantasma en algun proceso sensacional donde 
comprometia a centenares de otras personas con 
sus testimonios antes de desaparecer, esta vez para 
siempre. Sin embargo, en el caso de Withers, 
estaba claro que lo habian matado. Era ya una 
nopersona. No existia: nunca habia existido. 
Winston decidio que no bastaria con cambiar el 
sentido del discurso del Gran Hermano. Era mejor 
hacer que se refiriese a un asunto sin relacion 
alguna con el autentico. 


Podia trasladar el discurso al tema habitual de los 
traidores y los criminales del pensamiento, pero 
esto resultaba demasiado claro; y por otra parte, 
inventar una victoria en el frente o algun triunfo de 
superproduccion en el noveno plan trienal, podia 
complicar demasiado los registros. Lo que se 
necesitaba era una fantasia pura. De pronto se le 
ocurrio inventar que un cierto camarada Ogilvy 
habia muerto recientemente en la guerra en 
circunstancias heroicas. En ciertas ocasiones, el 
Gran Hermano dedicaba su orden del dia a 
conmemorar a algunos miembros ordinarios del 
Partido cuya vida y muerte ponia como ejemplo 
digno de ser imitado por todos. Hoy conmemoraria 
al camarada Ogilvy. Desde luego, no existia el tal 
Ogilvy, pero unas cuantas lineas de texto y un par 
de fotografias falsificadas bastanan para darle 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


69 


photographs would soon bring him into existence. 


Winston thought for a moment, then pulled the 
speakwrite towards him and began dictating in Big 
Brother's familiar style: a style at once military and 
pedantic, and, because of a trick of asking 
questions and then promptly answering them 
('What lessons do we learn from this fact, 
comrades? The lesson — which is also one of the 
fundamental principles of Ingsoc — that,' etc., etc.), 
easy to imitate. 


At the age of three Comrade Ogilvy had refused all 
toys except a drum, a sub-machine gun, and a 
model helicopter. At six — a year early, by a special 
relaxation of the rules — he had joined the Spies, at 
nine he had been a troop leader. At eleven he had 
denounced his uncle to the Thought Police after 
overhearing a conversation which appeared to him 
to have criminal tendencies. At seventeen he had 
been a district organizer of the Junior Anti-Sex 
League. At nineteen he had designed a hand- 
grenade which had been adopted by the Ministry of 
Peace and which, at its first trial, had killed thirty- 
one Eurasian prisoners in one burst. At twenty- 
three he had perished in action. Pursued by enemy 
jet planes while flying over the Indian Ocean with 
important despatches, he had weighted his body 
with his machine gun and leapt out of the 
helicopter into deep water, despatches and all — an 
end, said Big Brother, which it was impossible to 
contemplate without feelings of envy. Big Brother 
added a few remarks on the purity and single- 
mindedness of Comrade Ogilvy's life. He was a 
total abstainer and a nonsmoker, had no recreations 
except a daily hour in the gymnasium, and had 
taken a vow of celibacy, believing marriage and the 
care of a family to be incompatible with a twenty- 
four-hour-a-day devotion to duty. He had no 
subjects of conversation except the principles of 
Ingsoc, and no aim in life except the defeat of the 
Eurasian enemy and the hunting-down of spies, 
saboteurs, thought-criminals, and traitors generally. 


Winston debated with himself whether to award 
Comrade Ogilvy the Order of Conspicuous Merit: 


vida. 


Winston reflexiono un momento, se acerco luego 
al hablescribe y empezo a dictar en el estilo 
habitual del Gran Hermano: un estilo militar y 
pedante a la vez y facil de imitar por el truco de 
hacer preguntas y contestarselas el mismo en 
seguida. (Por ejemplo: «£Que nos ensena este 
hecho, camaradas? Nos ensena la leccion — que es 
tambien uno de los principios fundamentales de 
Ingsoc — que», etc., etc.) 

A la edad de tres anos, el camarada Ogilvy habfa 
rechazado todos los juguetes excepto un tambor, 
una ametralladora y un autogiro. A los seis anos — 
uno antes de lo reglamentario por concesion 
especial — se habfa alistado en los Espfas; a los 
nueve anos, era ya jefe de tropa. A los once habfa 
denunciado a su tfo a la Policfa del Pensamiento 
despues de ofrle una conversacion donde el adulto 
se habfa mostrado con tendencias criminales. A los 
diecisiete fue organizador en su distrito de la Liga 
juvenil Anti — Sex. A los diecinueve habfa 
inventado una granada de mano que fue adoptada 
por el Ministerio de la Paz y que, en su primera 
prueba, mato a treinta y un prisioneros 
eurasiaticos. A los veintitres murio en accion de 
guerra. Perseguido por cazas enemigos de 
propulsion a chorro mientras volaba sobre el 
Oceano fndico portador de mensajes secretos, se 
habfa arrojado al mar con las ametralladoras y los 
documentos... Un final, decfa el Gran Hermano, 
que necesariamente despertaba la envidia. El Gran 
Hermano anadfa unas consideraciones sobre la 
pureza y rectitud de la vida del camarada Ogilvy. 
Era abstemio y no fumador, no se permitfa mas 
diversiones que una hora diaria en el gimnasio y 
habfa hecho voto de solterfa por creer que el 
matrimonio y el cuidado de una familia 
imposibilitaban dedicar las veinticuatro horas del 
dfa al cumplimiento del deber. No tenfa mas tema 
de conversacion que los principios de Ingsoc, ni 
mas finalidad en la vida que la derrota del enemigo 
eurasiatico y la caza de espfas, saboteadores, 
criminales mentales y traidores en general. 

Winston discutio consigo mismo si debfa o no 
concederle al camarada Ogilvy la Orden del Merito 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


70 


in the end he decided against it because of the 
unnecessary cross-referencing that it would entail. 


Once again he glanced at his rival in the opposite 
cubicle. Something seemed to tell him with 
certainty that Tillotson was busy on the same job as 
himself. There was no way of knowing whose job 
would finally be adopted, but he felt a profound 
conviction that it would be his own. Comrade 
Ogilvy, unimagined an hour ago, was now a fact. It 
struck him as curious that you could create dead 
men but not living ones. Comrade Ogilvy, who had 
never existed in the present, now existed in the 
past, and when once the act of forgery was 
forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and 
upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius 
Caesar. 


Conspicuo; al final decidio no concedersela porque 
ello acarrearia un excesivo trabajo de 
confrontaciones para que el hecho coincidiera con 
otras referencias. 


De nuevo miro a su rival de la cabina de enfrente. 
Algo parecia decirle que Tillotson se ocupaba en lo 
mismo que el. No habia manera de saber cual de 
las versiones serfa adoptada finalmente, pero 
Winston tenia la firme conviccion de que se 
elegirfa la suya. El camarada Ogilvy, que hace una 
hora no existia, era ya un hecho. A Winston le 
resultaba curioso que se pudieran crear hombres 
muertos y no hombres vivos. El camarada Ogilvy, 
que nunca habia existido en el presente, era ya una 
realidad en el pasado, y cuando quedara olvidado 
en el acto de la falsificacion, seguirfa existiendo 
con la misma autenticidad, con pruebas de la 
misma fuerza que Carlomagno o Julio Cesar. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


71 


Chapter 5 


In the low-ceilinged canteen, deep underground, 
the lunch queue jerked slowly forward. The room 
was already very full and deafeningly noisy. 
From the grille at the counter the steam of stew 
came pouring forth, with a sour metallic smell 
which did not quite overcome the fumes of 
Victory Gin. On the far side of the room there 
was a small bar, a mere hole in the wall, where 
gin could be bought at ten cents the large nip. 


'Just the man I was looking for,' said a voice at 
Winston's back. 


He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who 
worked in the Research Department. Perhaps 
'friend' was not exactly the right word. You did 
not have friends nowadays, you had comrades: 
but there were some comrades whose society was 
pleasanter than that of others. Syme was a 
philologist, a specialist in Newspeak. Indeed, he 
was one of the enormous team of experts now 
engaged in compiling the Eleventh Edition of the 
Newspeak Dictionary. He was a tiny creature, 
smaller than Winston, with dark hair and large, 
protuberant eyes, at once mournful and derisive, 
which seemed to search your face closely while 
he was speaking to you. 


'I wanted to ask you whether you'd got any razor 
blades,' he said. 


'Not one!' said Winston with a sort of guilty 
haste. 'I've tried all over the place. They don't 
exist any longer.' 


CAPITULO V 


En la cantina, un local de techo bajo en los sotanos, 
la cola para el almuerzo avanzaba lentamente. La 
estancia estaba atestada de gente y llena de un ruido 
ensordecedor. De la parrilla tras el mostrador 
emanaba el olorcillo del asado. A1 extremo de la 
cantina habia un pequeno bar, una especie de agujero 
en el muro, donde podia comprarse la ginebra a diez 
centavos el vasito. 


— Precisamente el que andaba yo buscando — dijo 
una voz a espaldas de Winston. 

Este se volvio. Era su amigo Syme, que trabajaba en 
el Departamento de Investigaciones, Quizas no fuera 
«amigo» la palabra adecuada. Ya no habia amigos, 
sino camaradas. Pero persistia una diferencia: unos 
camaradas eran mas agradables que otros. Syme era 
filosofo, especializado en neolengua. Desde luego, 
pertenecia al inmenso grupo de expertos dedicados a 
redactar la onceava edicion del Diccionario de 
Neolengua. Era mas pequeno que Winston, con 
cabello negro y sus ojos saltones, a la vez tristes y 
burlones, que parecian buscar continuamente algo 
dentro de su interlocutor. 


— Querfa preguntarte si tienes hojas de afeitar — 
dijo. 

— jNi una! — dijo Winston con una precipitacion 
culpable. He tratado de encontrarlas por todas partes, 
pero ya no hay. 


Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Todos buscaban hojas de afeitar. La verdad era que 
Actually he had two unused ones which he was Winston guardaba en su casa dos sin estrenar. 
hoarding up. There had been a famine of them for Durante los meses pasados hubo una gran escasez de 
months past. At any given moment there was hojas. Siempre faltaba algun articulo necesario que 
some necessary article which the Party shops en las tiendas del Partido no podian proporcionar; 
were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, unas veces, botones; otras, hilo de coser; a veces, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


72 


sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was 
shoelaces; at present it was razor blades. You 
could only get hold of them, if at all, by 
scrounging more or less furtively on the 'free' 
market. 


'I've been using the same blade for six weeks,' he 
added untruthfully. 


The queue gave another jerk forward. As they 
halted he turned and faced Syme again. Each of 
them took a greasy metal tray from a pile at the 
end of the counter. 


'Did you go and see the prisoners hanged 
yesterday?' said Syme. 

'I was working,' said Winston indifferently. 'I 
shall see it on the flicks, I suppose.' 

'A very inadequate substitute,' said Syme. 


His mocking eyes roved over Winston's face. 'I 
know you,' the eyes seemed to say, 'I see through 
you. I know very well why you didn't go to see 
those prisoners hanged.' In an intellectual way, 
Syme was venomously orthodox. He would talk 
with a disagreeable gloating satisfaction of 
helicopter raids on enemy villages, and trials and 
confessions of thought-criminals, the executions 
in the cellars of the Ministry of Love. Talking to 
him was largely a matter of getting him away 
from such subjects and entangling him, if 
possible, in the technicalities of Newspeak, on 
which he was authoritative and interesting. 
Winston turned his head a little aside to avoid the 
scrutiny of the large dark eyes. 


'It was a good hanging,' said Syme reminiscently. 
'I think it spoils it when they tie their feet 
together. I like to see them kicking. And above 
all, at the end, the tongue sticking right out, and 
blue — a quite bright blue. That's the detail that 
appeals to me.' 


cordones para los zapatos, y ahora faltaban cuchillas 
de afeitar. Era imposible adquirirlas a no ser que se 
buscaran furtivamente en el mercado «libre». 


— Llevo seis semanas usando la misma cuchilla — 
mintio Winston. 


La cola avanzo otro poco. Winston se volvio otra vez 
para observar a Syme. Cada uno de ellos cogio una 
bandeja grasienta de metal de una pila que habfa al 
horde del mostrador. 


— ^Fuiste a ver ahorcar a los prisioneros ayer? — le 
pregunto Syme. 

— Estaba trabajando — respondio Winston en tono 
indiferente. Lo vere en el cine, seguramente. 

— Un sustitutivo muy inadecuado — comento Syme. 

Sus ojos burlones recorrieron el rostro de Winston. 
«Te conozco», parecfan decir los ojos. «Veo a traves 
de ti. Se muy bien por que no fuiste a ver ahorcar los 
prisioneros. » Intelectualmente, Syme era de una 
ortodoxia venenosa. Por ejemplo, hablaba con una 
satisfaccion repugnante de los bombardeos de los 
helicopteros contra los pueblos enemigos, de los 
procesos y confesiones de los criminales del 
pensamiento y de las ejecuciones en los sotanos del 
Ministerio del Amor. Hablar con el suponfa siempre 
un esfuerzo por apartarle de esos temas e interesarle 
en problemas tecnicos de neolingiiistica en los que 
era una autoridad y sobre los que podia decir cosas 
interesantes. Winston volvio un poco la cabeza para 
evitar el escrutinio de los grandes ojos negros. 

— Fue una buena ejecucion — dijo Syme anorante 
Pero me parece que estropean el efecto atandoles los 
pies. Me gusta verlos patalear. De todos modos, es 
estupendo ver como sacan la lengua, que se les pone 
azul... jde un azul tan brillante! Ese detalle es el que 
mas me gusta. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


73 


'Nex', please!' yelled the white-aproned prole 
with the ladle. 


Winston and Syme pushed their trays beneath the 
grille. On to each was dumped swiftly the 
regulation lunch — a metal pannikin of pinkish- 
grey stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a 
mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one 
saccharine tablet. 


'There's a table over there, under that telescreen,' 
said Syme. 'Let's pick up a gin on the way.' 


The gin was served out to them in handleless 
china mugs. They threaded their way across the 
crowded room and unpacked their trays on to the 
metal-topped table, on one corner of which 
someone had left a pool of stew, a filthy liquid 
mess that had the appearance of vomit. Winston 
took up his mug of gin, paused for an instant to 
collect his nerve, and gulped the oily-tasting stuff 
down. When he had winked the tears out of his 
eyes he suddenly discovered that he was hungry. 
He began swallowing spoonfuls of the stew, 
which, in among its general sloppiness, had 
cubes of spongy pinkish stuff which was 
probably a preparation of meat. Neither of them 
spoke again till they had emptied their pannikins. 
From the table at Winston's left, a little behind 
his back, someone was talking rapidly and 
continuously, a harsh gabble almost like the 
quacking of a duck, which pierced the general 
uproar of the room. 

'How is the Dictionary getting on?' said Winston, 
raising his voice to overcome the noise. 

'Slowly,' said Syme. 'I'm on the adjectives. It's 
fascinating.' 


— jEl siguiente, por favor! — dijo la prole( taria) del 
delantal bianco que servfa tras el mostrador. 

Winston y Syme presentaron sus bandejas. A cada 
uno de ellos les pusieron su racion: guiso con un 
poquito de carne, algo de pan, un cubito de queso, un 
poco de cafe de la Victoria y una pastilla de sacarina. 


— Alii hay una mesa libre, debajo de la telepantalla 
— dijo Syme. De camino podemos coger un poco de 
ginebra. 

Les sirvieron la ginebra en unas terrinas. Se abrieron 
paso entre la multitud y colocaron el contenido de 
sus bandejas sobre la mesa de tapa de metal, en una 
esquina de la cual habfa dejado alguien un chorreton 
de grasa del guiso, un lfquido asqueroso. Winston 
cogio la terrina de ginebra, se detuvo un instante para 
decidirse, y se trago de un golpe aquella bebida que 
sabia a aceite. Le acudieron lagrimas a los ojos como 
reaccion y de pronto descubrio que tenia hambre. 
Empezo a tragar cucharadas del guiso, que contenia 
unos trocitos de un material substitutivo de la carne. 
Ninguno de ellos volvio a hablar hasta que vaciaron 
los recipientes. En la mesa situada a la izquierda de 
Winston, un poco detras de el, alguien hablaba 
rapidamente y sin cesar, una chachara que recordaba 
el cua-cua del pato. Esa voz perforaba el jaleo 
general de la cantina. 


— ^Como va el diccionario? — dijo Winston 
elevando la voz para dominar el ruido. 

— Despacio — respondio Syme. Por los adjetivos. 
Es un trabajo fascinador. 


He had brightened up immediately at the mention En cuanto oyo que le hablaban de lo suyo, se animo 
of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took inmediatamente. Aparto el plato de aluminio, tomo el 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


1A 


up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his 
cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so 
as to be able to speak without shouting. 

The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he 
said. 'We're getting the language into its final 
shape — the shape it's going to have when 
nobody speaks anything else. When we've 
finished with it, people like you will have to learn 
it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our 
chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of 
it! We're destroying words-scores of them, 
hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the 
language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition 
won't contain a single word that will become 
obsolete before the year 2050.' 

He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a 
couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, 
with a sort of pedant's passion. His thin dark face 
had become animated, his eyes had lost their 
mocking expression and grown almost dreamy. 

'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of 
course the great wastage is in the verbs and 
adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that 
can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the 
synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, 
what justification is there for a word which is 
simply the opposite of some other word? A word 
contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for 
instance. If you have a word like "good", what 
need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" 
will do just as well-better, because it's an exact 
opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you 
want a stronger version of "good", what sense is 
there in having a whole string of vague useless 
words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the 
rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or 
"doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger 
still. Of course we use those forms already. But 
in the final version of Newspeak there'll be 
nothing else. In the end the whole notion of 
goodness and badness will be covered by only six 
words — in reality, only one word. Don't you see 
the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea 
originally, of course,' he added as an 
afterthought. 


mendrugo de pan con gesto delicado y el queso con 
la otra mano. Se inclino sobre la mesa para hablar sin 
tener que gritar. 

— La onceava edicion es la definitiva dijo — . Le 
estamos dando al idioma su forma final, la forma que 
tendra cuando nadie hable mas que neolengua. 
Cuando terminemos nuestra labor, tendreis que 
empezar a aprenderlo de nuevo. Creeras, 
seguramente, que nuestro principal trabajo consiste 
en inventar nuevas palabras. Nada de eso. Lo que 
hacemos es destruir palabras, centenares de palabras 
cada dia. Estamos podando el idioma para dejarlo en 
los huesos. De las palabras que contenga la onceava 
edicion, ninguna quedara anticuada antes del ano 
2050 — . 


Dio un hambriento bocado a su pedazo de pan y se lo 
trago sin dejar de hablar con una especie de 
apasionamiento pedante. Se le habia animado su 
rostro moreno, y sus ojos, sin perder el aire sonador, 
no tenfan ya su expresion burlona. 

— La destruccion de las palabras es algo de gran 
hermosura. Por supuesto, las principales victimas son 
los verbos y los adjetivos, pero tambien hay 
centenares de nombres de los que puede uno 
prescindir. No se trata solo de los sinonimos. 
Tambien los antonimos. En realidad ^que 
justificacion tiene el empleo de una palabra solo 
porque sea lo contrario de otra? Toda palabra 
contiene en si misma su contraria. Por ejemplo, 
tenemos «bueno». Si tienes una palabra como 
«bueno», ^que necesidad hay de la contraria, 
«malo»? Nobueno sirve exactamente igual, mejor 
todavia, porque es la palabra exactamente contraria a 
«bueno» y la otra no. Por otra parte, si quieres un 
reforzamiento de la palabra «bueno», <;,que sentido 
tienen esas confusas e inutiles palabras «excelente, 
esplendido» y otras por el estilo? Plusbueno basta 
para decir lo que es mejor que lo simplemente bueno 
y dobleplusbueno sirve perfectamente para acentuar 
el grado de bondad. Es el superlativo perfecto. Ya se 
que usamos esas formas, pero en la version final de 
la neolengua se suprimiran las demas palabras que 
todavia se usan como equivalentes. Al final todo lo 
relativo a la bondad podra expresarse con seis 
palabras; en realidad una sola. ^No te das cuenta de 



George Orwell 


A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's 
face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless 
Syme immediately detected a certain lack of 
enthusiasm. 


'You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, 
Winston,' he said almost sadly. 'Even when you 
write it you're still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read 
some of those pieces that you write in "The 
Times" occasionally. They're good enough, but 
they're translations. In your heart you'd prefer to 
stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its 
useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the 
beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know 
that Newspeak is the only language in the world 
whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?' 


Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, 
sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to 
speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark- 
coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on: 


'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is 
to narrow the range of thought? In the end we 
shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, 
because there will be no words in which to 
express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, 
will be expressed by exactly one word, with its 
meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary 
meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in 
the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that 
point. But the process will still be continuing 
long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer 
and fewer words, and the range of consciousness 
always a little smaller. Even now, of course, 
there's no reason or excuse for committing 
thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self- 
discipline, reality-control. But in the end there 
won't be any need even for that. The Revolution 
will be complete when the language is perfect. 
Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he 
added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it 
ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 


1 9 8 4 75 

la belleza que hay en esto, Winston? Naturalmente, la 
idea fue del Gran Hermano — anadio despues de 
reflexionar un poco. 

A 1 ofr nombrar al Gran Hermano, el rostro de 
Winston se animo automaticamente. Sin embargo, 
Syme descubrio inmediatamente una cierta falta de 
entusiasmo. 


— Tu no aprecias la neolengua en lo que vale — dijo 
Syme con tristeza — . Incluso cuando escribes sigues 
pensando en la antigua lengua. He leido algunas de 
las cosas que has escrito para el Times. Son bastante 
buenas, pero no pasan de traducciones. En el fondo 
de tu corazon prefieres el viejo idioma con toda su 
vaguedad y sus inutiles matices de significado. No 
sientes la belleza de la destruccion de las palabras. 
7N0 sabes que la neolengua es el unico idioma del 
mundo cuyo vocabulario disminuye cada dia. 


Winston no lo sabia, naturalmente sonrio — crefa 
hacerlo agradablemente — porque no se fiaba de 
hablar. Syme comio otro bocado del pan negro, lo 
mastico un poco y siguio: 

— ^No ves que la finalidad de la neolengua es limitar 
el alcance del pensamiento, estrechar el radio de 
accion de la mente? Al final, acabamos haciendo 
imposible todo crimen del pensamiento. En efecto, 
(,como puede haber crimental si cada concepto se 
expresa claramente con una sola palabra, una palabra 
cuyo significado este decidido rigurosamente y con 
todos sus significaos secundarios eliminados y 
olvidados para siempre? Y en la onceava edicion nos 
acercamos a ese ideal, pero su perfeccionamiento 
continuara mucho despues de que tu y yo hayamos 
muerto. Cada ano habra menos palabras y el radio de 
accion de la conciencia sera cada vez mas pequeno. 
Por supuesto, tampoco ahora hay justificacion alguna 
para cometer crimen por el pensamiento. Solo es 
cuestion de autodisciplina, de control de la realidad. 
Pero llegara un dia en que ni esto sera preciso. La 
revolucion sera completa cuando la lengua sea 
perfecta. Neolengua es Ingsoc e Ingsoc es neolengua 

— anadio — con una satisfaccion mfstica — . ^No se 
te ha ocurrido pensar, Winston, que lo mas tarde 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


76 


2050, at the very latest, not a single human being 
will be alive who could understand such a 
conversation as we are having now?' 

'Except — ' began Winston doubtfully, and he 
stopped. 

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say 'Except 
the proles,' but he checked himself, not feeling 
fully certain that this remark was not in some 
way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined 
what he was about to say. 

'The proles are not human beings,' he said 
carelessly. 'By 2050 — earlier, probably — all real 
knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. 
The whole literature of the past will have been 
destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, 
Byron — they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, 
not merely changed into something different, but 
actually changed into something contradictory of 
what they used to be. Even the literature of the 
Party will change. Even the slogans will change. 
How could you have a slogan like "freedom is 
slavery" when the concept of freedom has been 
abolished? The whole climate of thought will be 
different. In fact there will be no thought, as we 
understand it now. Orthodoxy means not 
thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is 
unconsciousness.' 


One of these days, thought Winston with sudden 
deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is 
too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too 
plainly. The Party does not like such people. One 
day he will disappear. It is written in his face. 


Winston had finished his bread and cheese. He 
turned a little sideways in his chair to drink his 
mug of coffee. At the table on his left the man 
with the strident voice was still talking 
remorselessly away. A young woman who was 
perhaps his secretary, and who was sitting with 
her back to Winston, was listening to him and 
seemed to be eagerly agreeing with everything 


hacia el ano 2050, ni un solo ser humano podra 
entender una conversacion como esta que ahora 
sostenemos? 


— Excepto... empezo a decir Winston, dubitativo, 
pero se interrumpio alarmado. 

Habfa estado a punto de decir «excepto los proles»; 
pero no estaba muy seguro de que esta observacion 
fuera muy ortodoxa. Sin embargo, Syme adivino lo 
que iba a decir. 


— Los proles no son seres humanos dijo — . Hacia el 
2050, quiza antes, habra desaparecido todo 
conocimiento efectivo del viejo idioma. Toda la 
literatura del pasado habra sido destruida. Chaucer, 
Shakespeare, Milton, Byron... solo existiran en 
versiones neolingiifstcas, no solo transformados en 
algo muy diferente, sino convertidos en lo contrario 
de lo que eran. Incluso la literatura del partido 
cambiara; hasta los slogans seran otros. ^Como vas a 
tener un slogan como el de «la libertad es la 
esclavitud» cuando el concepto de libertad no exista? 
Todo el clima del pensamiento sera distinto. En 
realidad, no habra pensamiento en el sentido en que 
ahora lo entendemos. La ortodoxia significa no 
pensar, no necesitar el pensamiento. Nuestra 
ortodoxia es la inconsciencia. 


De pronto tuvo Winston la profunda conviccion de 
que uno de aquellos dfas vaporizarian a Syme. Es 
demasiado inteligente. Lo ve todo con demasiada 
claridad y habla con demasiada sencillez. A1 Partido 
no le gustan estas gentes. Cualquier dfa desaparecera. 
Lo lleva escrito en la cara. 


Winston habfa terminado el pan y el queso. Se volvio 
un poco para beber la terrina de cafe. En la mesa de 
la izquierda, el hombre de la voz estridente segufa 
hablando sin cesar. Una joven, que quizas fuera su 
secretaria y que estaba sentada de espaldas a 
Winston, le escuchaba y asentfa continuamente. De 
vez en cuando, Winston captaba alguna observacion 
como: «Cuanta razon tienes» o «No sabes hasta que 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


77 


that he said. From time to time Winston caught 
some such remark as 'I think you're so right, I do 
so agree with you', uttered in a youthful and 
rather silly feminine voice. But the other voice 
never stopped for an instant, even when the girl 
was speaking. Winston knew the man by sight, 
though he knew no more about him than that he 
held some important post in the Fiction 
Department. He was a man of about thirty, with a 
muscular throat and a large, mobile mouth. His 
head was thrown back a little, and because of the 
angle at which he was sitting, his spectacles 
caught the light and presented to Winston two 
blank discs instead of eyes. What was slightly 
horrible, was that from the stream of sound that 
poured out of his mouth it was almost impossible 
to distinguish a single word. Just once Winston 
caught a phrase — 'complete and final elimination 
of Goldsteinism' — jerked out very rapidly and, as 
it seemed, all in one piece, like a line of type cast 
solid. For the rest it was just a noise, a quack- 
quack-quacking. And yet, though you could not 
actually hear what the man was saying, you could 
not be in any doubt about its general nature. He 
might be denouncing Goldstein and demanding 
sterner measures against thought-criminals and 
saboteurs, he might be fulminating against the 
atrocities of the Eurasian army, he might be 
praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar 
front — it made no difference. Whatever it was, 
you could be certain that every word of it was 
pure orthodoxy, pure Ingsoc. As he watched the 
eyeless face with the jaw moving rapidly up and 
down, Winston had a curious feeling that this 
was not a real human being but some kind of 
dummy. It was not the man's brain that was 
speaking, it was his larynx. The stuff that was 
coming out of him consisted of words, but it was 
not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered 
in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck. 


Syme had fallen silent for a moment, and with 
the handle of his spoon was tracing patterns in 
the puddle of stew. The voice from the other 
table quacked rapidly on, easily audible in spite 
of the surrounding din. 'There is a word in 
Newspeak,' said Syme, 'I don't know whether you 
know it: DUCKSPEAK, to quack like a duck. It 
is one of those interesting words that have two 
contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, 


punto estoy de acuerdo contigo», en una voz juvenil 
y algo tonta. Pero la otra voz no se detenia ni siquiera 
cuando la muchacha decia algo. Winston conocia de 
vista a aquel hombre aunque solo sabia que ocupaba 
un puesto importante en el Departamento de Novela. 
Era un hombre de unos treinta anos con un poderoso 
cuello y una boca grande y gesticulante. Estaba un 
poco echado hacia atras en su asiento y los cristales 
de sus gafas reflejaban la luz y le presentaban a 
Winston dos discos vacios en vez de un par de ojos. 
Lo inquietante era que del torrente de ruido que salfa 
de su boca resultaba casi imposible distinguir una 
sola palabra. Solo un cabo de frase comprendio 
Winston «completa y definitiva eliminacion del 
goldsteinismo» — , pronunciado con tanta rapidez 
que parecia salir en un solo bloque como la linea, 
fundida en plomo, de una linotipia. Lo demas era 
solo ruido, un cuac-cuac-cuac, y, sin embargo, 
aunque no se podia oir lo que decia, era seguro que 
se referia a Goldstein acusandolo y exigiendo 
medidas mas duras contra los criminales del 
pensamiento y los saboteadores. Si, era indudable 
que lanzaba diatribas contra las atrocidades del 
ejercito eurasiatico y que alababa al Gran Hermano o 
a los heroes del frente malabar. Fuera lo que fuese, se 
podia estar seguro de que todas sus palabras eran 
ortodoxia pura. Ingsoc cien por cien. Al contemplar 
el rostro sin ojos con la mandibula en rapido 
movimiento, tuvo Winston la curiosa sensacion de 
que no era un ser humano, sino una especie de 
muneco. No hablaba el cerebro de aquel hombre, 
sino su laringe. Lo que salia de ella consistia en 
palabras, pero no era un discurso en el verdadero 
sentido, sino un ruido inconsciente como el cuac- 
cuac de un pato. 


Syme se habia quedado silencioso unos momentos y 
con el mango de la cucharilla trazaba dibujos entre 
los restos del guisado. La voz de la otra mesa seguia 
con su rapido cuac-cuac, facilmente perceptible a 
pesar de la algarabia de la cantina. 

— Hay una palabra en neolengua — dijo Syme que 
no se si la conoces: pathablar, o sea, hablar de modo 
que recuerde el cuac-cuac de un pato. Es una de esas 
palabras interesantes que tienen dos sentidos 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


78 


it is abuse, applied to someone you agree with, it 
is praise.' 


Unquestionably Syme will be vaporized, Winston 
thought again. He thought it with a kind of 
sadness, although well knowing that Syme 
despised him and slightly disliked him, and was 
fully capable of denouncing him as a thought- 
criminal if he saw any reason for doing so. There 
was something subtly wrong with Syme. There 
was something that he lacked: discretion, 

aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity. You could 
not say that he was unorthodox. He believed in 
the principles of Ingsoc, he venerated Big 
Brother, he rejoiced over victories, he hated 
heretics, not merely with sincerity but with a sort 
of restless zeal, an up-to-dateness of information, 
which the ordinary Party member did not 
approach. Yet a faint air of disreputability always 
clung to him. He said things that would have 
been better unsaid, he had read too many books, 
he frequented the Chestnut Tree Cafe, haunt of 
painters and musicians. There was no law, not 
even an unwritten law, against frequenting the 
Chestnut Tree Cafe, yet the place was somehow 
ill-omened. The old, discredited leaders of the 
Party had been used to gather there before they 
were finally purged. Goldstein himself, it was 
said, had sometimes been seen there, years and 
decades ago. Syme's fate was not difficult to 
foresee. And yet it was a fact that if Syme 
grasped, even for three seconds, the nature of his, 
Winston's, secret opinions, he would betray him 
instantly to the Thought Police. So would 
anybody else, for that matter: but Syme more 
than most. Zeal was not enough. Orthodoxy was 
unconsciousness. 


Syme looked up. Here comes Parsons,' he said. 


Something in the tone of his voice seemed to add, 
'that bloody fool'. Parsons, Winston's fellow- 
tenant at Victory Mansions, was in fact threading 
his way across the room — a tubby, middle-sized 
man with fair hair and a froglike face. At thirty- 
five he was already putting on rolls of fat at neck 


contradictories. Aplicada a un contrario, es un 
insulto; aplicada a alguien con quien estes de 
acuerdo, es un elogio. 

No cabia duda, volvio a pensar Winston, a Syme lo 
vaporizarian. Lo penso con cierta tristeza aunque 
sabia perfectamente que Syme lo despreciaba y era 
muy capaz de denunciarle como culpable mental. 
Habia algo de sutilmente malo en Syme. Algo le 
faltaba: discrecion, prudencia, algo asi como 

estupidez salvadora. No podia decirse que no fuera 
ortodoxo. Creia en los principios del Ingsoc, 
veneraba al Gran Hermano, se alegraba de las 
victorias y odiaba a los herejes, no solo sinceramente, 
sino con inquieto celo hallandose al dia hasta un 
grado que no solia alcanzar el miembro ordinario del 
Partido. Sin embargo, se cemia sobre el un vago aire 
de sospecha. Decia cosas que debia callar, leia 
demasiados libros, frecuentaba el Cafe del Nogal, 
guarida de pintores y musicos. No habia ley que 
prohibiera la frecuentacion del Cafe del Nogal. Sin 
embargo, era sitio de mal agiiero. Los antiguos y 
desacreditados jefes del Partido se habian reunido alii 
antes de ser «purgados» definitivamente. Se decia 
que al mismo Goldstein lo habian visto alii algunas 
veces hacia anos o decadas. Por tanto, el destino de 
Syme no era dificil de predecir. Pero, por otra parte, 
era indudable que si aquel hombre olia solo por tres 
segundos las opiniones secretas de Winston, lo 
denunciaria inmediatamente a la Policia del 
Pensamiento. Por supuesto, cualquier otro lo haria; 
Syme se daria mas prisa. Pero no bastaba con el celo. 
La ortodoxia era la inconsciencia. 


Syme levanto la vista: 

— Aqui viene Parsons — dijo. 

Algo en el tono de su voz parecia anadir, «ese 
idiota». Parsons, vecino de Winston en las Casas de 
la Victoria, se abria paso efectivamente por la 
atestada cantina. Era un individuo de mediana 
estatura con cabello rubio y cara de rana. A los 
treinta y cinco anos tenia ya una buena cantidad de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


79 


and waistline, but his movements were brisk and 
boyish. His whole appearance was that of a little 
boy grown large, so much so that although he 
was wearing the regulation overalls, it was 
almost impossible not to think of him as being 
dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirt, and red 
neckerchief of the Spies. In visualizing him one 
saw always a picture of dimpled knees and 
sleeves rolled back from pudgy forearms. 
Parsons did, indeed, invariably revert to shorts 
when a community hike or any other physical 
activity gave him an excuse for doing so. He 
greeted them both with a cheery 'Hullo, hullo!' 
and sat down at the table, giving off an intense 
smell of sweat. Beads of moisture stood out all 
over his pink face. His powers of sweating were 
extraordinary. At the Community Centre you 
could always tell when he had been playing 
table-tennis by the dampness of the bat handle. 
Syme had produced a strip of paper on which 
there was a long column of words, and was 
studying it with an ink-pencil between his 
fingers. 


'Look at him working away in the lunch hour,' 
said Parsons, nudging Winston. 'Keenness, eh? 
What's that you've got there, old boy? Something 
a bit too brainy for me, I expect. Smith, old boy, 
I'll tell you why I'm chasing you. It's that sub you 
forgot to give me.' 

'Which sub is that?' said Winston, automatically 
feeling for money. About a quarter of one's salary 
had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, 
which were so numerous that it was difficult to 
keep track of them. 

'For Hate Week. You know — the house-by-house 
fund. I'm treasurer for our block. We're making 
an all-out effort — going to put on a tremendous 
show. I tell you, it won't be my fault if old 
Victory Mansions doesn't have the biggest outfit 
of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you 
promised me.' 

Winston found and handed over two creased and 
filthy notes, which Parsons entered in a small 
notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate. 


grasa en el cuello y en la cintura, pero sus 
movimientos eran agiles y juveniles. Todo su aspecto 
hacia pensar en un muchacho con excesiva 
corpulencia, hasta tal punto que, a pesar de vestir el 
«mono» reglamentario, era casi imposible no 
figurarselo con los pantalones cortos y azules, la 
camisa gris y el panuelo rojo de los Espias. A1 verlo, 
se pensaba siempre en escenas de la organizacion 
juvenil. Y, en efecto. Parsons se ponia shorts para 
cada excursion colectiva o cada vez que cualquier 
actividad ffsica de la comunidad le daba una disculpa 
para hacerlo. Saludo a ambos con un alegre jHola, 
hola!, y sentose a la mesa esparciendo un intenso olor 
a sudor. Su rojiza cara estaba perlada de gotitas de 
sudor. Tenia un enorme poder sudorffico. En el 
Centro de la Comunidad se podia siempre asegurar si 
Parsons habia jugado al tenis de mesa por la 
humedad del mango de la raqueta. Syme saco una 
tira de papel en la que habia una larga columna de 
palabras y se dedico a estudiarla con un lapiz tinta 
entre los dedos. 


— Mira como trabaja hasta en la hora de comer — 
dijo Parsons, guinandole un ojo a Winston — . Eso es 
lo que se llama aplicacion. ^.Que tienes ahi, chico? 
Seguro que es algo demasiado intelectual para mi. 
Oye, Smith, te dire por que te andaba buscando, es 
para la sub. Olvidaste darme el dinero. 

^Que sub es esa? — dijo Winston buscandose el 
dinero automatic amente. Por lo menos una cuarta 
parte del sueldo de cada uno iba a parar a las 
subscripciones voluntarias. Estas eran tan abundantes 
que resultaba muy dificil llevar la cuenta. 

— Para la Semana del Odio. Ya sabes que soy el 
tesorero de nuestra manzana. Estamos haciendo un 
gran esfuerzo para que nuestro grupo de casas aporte 
mas que nadie. No sera culpa mia si las Casas de la 
Victoria no presentan el mayor despliegue de 
banderas de toda la calle. Me prometiste dos dolares. 


Winston, despues de rebuscar en sus bolsillos, saco 
dos billetes grasientos y muy arrugados que Parsons 
metio en una carterita y anoto cuidados amente. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


80 


'By the way, old boy,' he said. 'I hear that little 
beggar of mine let fly at you with his catapult 
yesterday. I gave him a good dressing-down for 
it. In fact I told him I'd take the catapult away if 
he does it again.' 

'I think he was a little upset at not going to the 
execution,' said Winston. 


'Ah, well — what I mean to say, shows the right 
spirit, doesn't it? Mischievous little beggars they 
are, both of them, but talk about keenness! All 
they think about is the Spies, and the war, of 
course. D'you know what that little girl of mine 
did last Saturday, when her troop was on a hike 
out Berkhamsted way? She got two other girls to 
go with her, slipped off from the hike, and spent 
the whole afternoon following a strange man. 
They kept on his tail for two hours, right through 
the woods, and then, when they got into 
Amersham, handed him over to the patrols.' 

'What did they do that for?' said Winston, 
somewhat taken aback. Parsons went on 
triumphantly: 

'My kid made sure he was some kind of enemy 
agent — might have been dropped by parachute, 
for instance. But here's the point, old boy. What 
do you think put her on to him in the first place? 
She spotted he was wearing a funny kind of 
shoes — said she'd never seen anyone wearing 
shoes like that before. So the chances were he 
was a foreigner. Pretty smart for a nipper of 
seven, eh?' 


'What happened to the man?' said Winston. 


'Ah, that I couldn't say, of course. But I wouldn't 
be altogether surprised if — ' Parsons made the 
motion of aiming a rifle, and clicked his tongue 
for the explosion. 


— A proposito, chico — dijo — , me he enterado de 
que mi crfo te disparo ayer su tirachinas. Ya le he 
arreglado las cuentas. Le dije que si lo volvia a hacer 
le quitarfa el tirachinas. 


— Me parece que estaba un poco fastidiado por no 
haber ido a la ejecucion — dijo Winston. 

— Hombre, no esta mal; eso demuestra que el 
muchacho es de fiar. Son muy traviesos, pero, eso si, 
no piensan mas que en los espias; y en la guerra, 
naturalmente. ^Sabes lo que hizo mi chiquilla el 
sabado pasado cuando su tropa fue de excursion a 
Berkhamstead? La acompanaban otras dos ninas. Las 
tres se separaron de la tropa, dejaron las bicicletas a 
un lado del camino y se pasaron toda la tarde 
siguiendo a un desconocido. No perdieron de vista al 
hombre durante dos horas, a campo traviesa, por los 
bosques... En fin, que, en cuanto llegaron a 
Amersham, lo entregaron a las patrullas. 

— ^Por que lo hicieron? — pregunto Winston, 
sobresaltado a pesar suyo. Parsons prosiguio, 
triunfante: 


— Mi chica se aseguro de que era un agente 
enemigo... Probablemente, lo dejaron caer con 
paracaidas. Pero fijate en el talento de la criatura: ^en 
que supones que le conocio al hombre que era un 
enemigo? Pues noto que llevaba unos zapatos muy 
raros. Si, mi nina dijo que no habia visto a nadie con 
unos zapatos asf; de modo que la cosa estaba clara. 
Era un extranjero. Para una nina de siete anos, no 
esta mal, ^verdad? 

— lY que le paso a ese hombre? — se intereso 
Winston. 


— Eso no lo se, naturalmente. Pero no me 
sorprenderfa que... — Parsons hizo el ademan de 
disparar un fusil y chasqueo la lengua imitando el 
disparo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


81 


Good, said Syme abstractedly, without looking 
up from his strip of paper. 

'Of course we can't afford to take chances,' 
agreed Winston dutifully. 

'What I mean to say, there is a war on,' said 
Parsons. 


As though in confirmation of this, a trumpet call 
floated from the telescreen just above their heads. 
However, it was not the proclamation of a 
military victory this time, but merely an 
announcement from the Ministry of Plenty. 

'Comrades!' cried an eager youthful voice. 
'Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for 
you. We have won the battle for production! 
Returns now completed of the output of all 
classes of consumption goods show that the 
standard of living has risen by no less than 20 per 
cent over the past year. All over Oceania this 
morning there were irrepressible spontaneous 
demonstrations when workers marched out of 
factories and offices and paraded through the 
streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big 
Brother for the new, happy life which his wise 
leadership has bestowed upon us. Here are some 
of the completed figures. Foodstuffs — ' 


The phrase 'our new, happy life' recurred several 
times. It had been a favourite of late with the 
Ministry of Plenty. Parsons, his attention caught 
by the trumpet call, sat listening with a sort of 
gaping solemnity, a sort of edified boredom. He 
could not follow the figures, but he was aware 
that they were in some way a cause for 
satisfaction. He had lugged out a huge and filthy 
pipe which was already half full of charred 
tobacco. With the tobacco ration at 100 grammes 
a week it was seldom possible to fill a pipe to the 
top. Winston was smoking a Victory Cigarette 
which he held carefully horizontal. The new 
ration did not start till tomorrow and he had only 


— Muy bien — dijo Syme abstraido, sin levantar la 
vista de sus apuntes. 

— Claro, no podemos permitirnos correr el riesgo... 
— asintio Winston, nada convencido. 

— Por supuesto, no hay que olvidar que estamos en 
guerra. 

Como para confirmar esto, un trompetazo salio de la 
telepantalla vibrando sobre sus cabezas. Pero esta vez 
no se trataba de la proclamation de una victoria 
militar, sino solo de un anuncio del Ministerio de la 
Abundancia. 


— jCamaradas! exclamo una voz juvenil y resonante. 
jAtencion, camaradas! jTenemos gloriosas noticias 
que comunicaros! Hemos ganado la batalla de la 
production. Tenemos ya todos los datos completos y 
el nivel de vida se ha elevado en un veinte por ciento 
sobre el del ano pasado. Esta manana ha habido en 
toda Oceania incontables manifestaciones 
espontaneas; los trabajadores salieron de las fabricas 
y de las oficinas y desfilaron, con banderas 
desplegadas, por las calles de cada ciudad 
proclamando su gratitud al Gran Hermano por la 
nueva y feliz vida que su sabia direction nos permite 
disfrutar. He aqui las cifras completas. Ramo de la 
Alimentation... 


La expresion «por la nueva y feliz vida» reaparecia 
varias veces. Estas eran las palabras favoritas del 
Ministerio de la Abundancia. Parsons, pendiente todo 
el de la llamada de la trompeta, escuchaba, muy 
rigido, con la boca abierta y un aire solemne, una 
especie de aburrimiento sublimado. No podia seguir 
las cifras, pero se daba cuenta de que eran un motivo 
de satisfaction. Fumaba una enorme y mugrienta 
pipa. Con la racion de tabaco de cien gramos a la 
semana era raras veces posible llenar una pipa hasta 
el borde. Winston fumaba un cigarrillo de la Victoria 
cuidando de mantenerlo horizontal para que no se 
cayera su escaso tabaco. La nueva racion no la darian 
hasta manana y le quedaban solo cuatro cigarrillos. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


82 


four cigarettes left. For the moment he had shut 
his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to 
the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It 
appeared that there had even been demonstrations 
to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate 
ration to twenty grammes a week. And only 
yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced 
that the ration was to be REDUCED to twenty 
grammes a week. Was it possible that they could 
swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, 
they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, 
with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless 
creature at the other table swallowed it 
fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to 
track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who 
should suggest that last week the ration had been 
thirty grammes. Syme, too — in some more 
complex way, involving doublethink, Syme 
swallowed it. Was he, then, ALONE in the 
possession of a memory? 


The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of 
the telescreen. As compared with last year there 
was more food, more clothes, more houses, more 
furniture, more cooking-pots, more fuel, more 
ships, more helicopters, more books, more babies 
— more of everything except disease, crime, and 
insanity. Year by year and minute by minute, 
everybody and everything was whizzing rapidly 
upwards. As Syme had done earlier Winston had 
taken up his spoon and was dabbling in the pale- 
coloured gravy that dribbled across the table, 
drawing a long streak of it out into a pattern. He 
meditated resentfully on the physical texture of 
life. Had it always been like this? Had food 
always tasted like this? He looked round the 
canteen. A low-ceilinged, crowded room, its 
walls grimy from the contact of innumerable 
bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed 
so close together that you sat with elbows 
touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white 
mugs; all surfaces greasy, grime in every crack; 
and a sourish, composite smell of bad gin and 
bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. 
Always in your stomach and in your skin there 
was a sort of protest, a feeling that you had been 
cheated of something that you had a right to. It 
was true that he had no memories of anything 
greatly different. In any time that he could 
accurately remember, there had never been quite 


Habia dejado de prestar atencion a todos los ruidos 
excepto a la pesadez numerica de la pantalla. Por lo 
visto, habia habido hasta manifestaciones para 
agradecerle al Gran Hermano — el aumento de la 
racion de chocolate a veinte gramos cada semana. 
Ayer mismo, penso, se habia anunciado que la racion 
se reduciria a veinte gramos semanales. <;C6mo era 
posible que pudieran tragarse aquello, si no habian 
pasado mas que veinticuatro horas? Sin embargo, se 
lo tragaron. Parsons lo digerfa con toda facilidad, con 
la estupidez de un animal. El individuo de las gafas 
con reflejos, en la otra mesa, lo aceptaba fanatica y 
apasionadamente con un furioso deseo de descubrir, 
denunciar y vaporizar a todo aquel que insinuase que 
la semana pasada la racion fue de treinta gramos. 
Syme tambien se lo habia tragado aunque el proceso 
que seguia para ello era algo mas complicado, un 
proceso de doblepensar. [Es que solo el, Winston, 
seguia poseyendo memoria? 


Las fabulosas estadisticas continuaron brotando de la 
telepantalla. En comparacion con el ano anterior, 
habia mas alimentos, mas vestidos, mas casas, mas 
muebles, mas ollas, mas comestibles, mas barcos, 
mas autogiros, mas libros, mas bebes, mas de todo, 
excepto enfermedades, crimenes y locura. Ano tras 
ano y minuto tras minuto, todos y todo subia 
vertiginosamente. Winston meditaba, resentido, 
sobre la vida. ^Siempre habia sido asi; siempre habia 
sido tan mala la comida? Miro en tomo suyo por la 
cantina; una habitacion de techo bajo, con las paredes 
sucias por el contacto de tantos trajes grasientos; 
mesas de metal abolladas y sillas igualmente 
estropeadas y tan juntas que la gente se tocaba con 
los codos. Todo resquebrajado, lleno de manchas y 
saturado de un insoportable olor a ginebra mala, a 
mal cafe, a sustitutivo de asado, a trajes sucios. 
Constantemente se rebelaban el estomago y la piel 
con la sensacion de que se les habia hecho trampa 
privandoles de algo a lo que tenian derecho. Desde 
luego, Winston no recordaba nada que fuera muy 
diferente. En todo el tiempo a que alcanzaba su 
memoria, nunca hubo bastante comida, nunca se 
podian llevar calcetines ni ropa interior sin agujeros, 
los muebles habian estado siempre desvencijados, en 
las habitaciones habia faltado calefaccion, los metros 
iban horriblemente atestados, las casas se deshacian a 
pedazos, el pan era pard plain negro, el te imposible 
de encontrar, el cafe sabia a cualquier cosa, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


83 


enough to eat, one had never had socks or 
underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture 
had always been battered and rickety, rooms 
underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling 
to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee 
filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient — nothing 
cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin. And 
though, of course, it grew worse as one's body 
aged, was it not a sign that this was NOT the 
natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at 
the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the 
interminable winters, the stickiness of one's 
socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, 
the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, 
the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should 
one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some 
kind of ancestral memory that things had once 
been different? 


He looked round the canteen again. Nearly 
everyone was ugly, and would still have been 
ugly even if dressed otherwise than in the 
uniform blue overalls. On the far side of the 
room, sitting at a table alone, a small, curiously 
beetle-like man was drinking a cup of coffee, his 
little eyes darting suspicious glances from side to 
side. How easy it was, thought Winston, if you 
did not look about you, to believe that the 
physical type set up by the Party as an ideal — tall 
muscular youths and deep-bosomed maidens, 
blond-haired, vital, sunburnt, carefree — existed 
and even predominated. Actually, so far as he 
could judge, the majority of people in Airstrip 
One were small, dark, and ill-favoured. It was 
curious how that beetle-like type proliferated in 
the Ministries: little dumpy men, growing stout 
very early in life, with short legs, swift scuttling 
movements, and fat inscrutable faces with very 
small eyes. It was the type that seemed to flourish 
best under the dominion of the Party. 


The announcement from the Ministry of Plenty 
ended on another trumpet call and gave way to 
tinny music. Parsons, stirred to vague enthusiasm 
by thebombardment of figures, took his pipe out 
of his mouth. 


escaseaban los cigarrillos y nada habia barato y 
abundante a no ser la ginebra sintetica. Y aunque, 
desde luego, todo empeoraba a medida que uno 
envejecia, ello era solo serial de que este no era el 
orden natural de las cosas. Si el corazon enfermaba 
con las incomodidades, la suciedad y la escasez, los 
inviernos interminables, la dureza de los calcetines, 
los ascensores que nunca funcionaban, el agua frfa, el 
rasposo jabon, los cigarrillos que se deshacian, los 
alimentos de sabor repugnante... ^como iba uno a 
considerar todo esto intolerable si no fuera por una 
especie de recuerdo ancestral de que las cosas habian 
sido diferentes alguna vez? 


Winston volvio a recorrer la cantina con la mirada. 
Casi todos los que alii estaban eran feos y lo hubieran 
seguido siendo aunque no hubieran llevado los 
«monos» azules uniformes. A1 extremo de la 
habitacion, solo en una mesa, se hallaba un 
hombrecillo con aspecto de escarabajo. Bebia una 
taza de cafe y sus ojillos lanzaban miradas suspicaces 
a un lado y a otro. Es muy facil, penso Winston, 
siempre que no mire uno en torno suyo, creer que el 
tipo ffsico fijado por el Partido como ideal — los 
jovenes altos y musculosos y las muchachas de 
escaso pecho y de cabello rubio, vitales, tostadas por 
el sol y despreocupadas — existia e incluso 
predominaba. Pero en la realidad, la mayorfa de los 
habitantes de la Franja Aerea numero 1 eran 
pequenos, cetrinos y de facciones desagradables. Es 
curioso cuanto proliferaba el tipo de escarabajo entre 
los funcionarios de los ministerios: hombrecillos que 
engordaban desde muy jovenes, con piemas cortas, 
movimientos toscos y rostros inescrutables, con ojos 
muy pequenos. Era el tipo que parecia florecer bajo 
el dominio del Partido. 


La comunicacion del Ministerio de la Abundancia 
termino con otro trompetazo y fue seguida por 
musica ligera. Parsons, lleno de vago entusiasmo por 
el reciente bombardeo de cifras, se saco la pipa de la 
boca: 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


84 


'The Ministry of Plenty's certainly done a good 
job this year,' he said with a knowing shake of his 
head. 'By the way. Smith old boy, I suppose you 
haven't got any razor blades you can let me 
have?' 


'Not one,' said Winston. 'I've been using the same 
blade for six weeks myself.' 

'Ah, well — just thought I'd ask you, old boy.' 


'Sorry,' said Winston. 

The quacking voice from the next table, 
temporarily silenced during the Ministry's 
announcement, had started up again, as loud as 
ever. For some reason Winston suddenly found 
himself thinking of Mrs Parsons, with her wispy 
hair and the dust in the creases of her face. 
Within two years those children would be 
denouncing her to the Thought Police. Mrs 
Parsons would be vaporized. Syme would be 
vaporized. Winston would be vaporized. O'Brien 
would be vaporized. Parsons, on the other hand, 
would never be vaporized. The eyeless creature 
with the quacking voice would never be 
vaporized. The little beetle-like men who scuttle 
so nimbly through the labyrinthine corridors of 
Ministries they, too, would never be vaporized. 
And the girl with dark hair, the girl from the 
Fiction Department — she would never be 
vaporized either. It seemed to him that he knew 
instinctively who would survive and who would 
perish: though just what it was that made for 
survival, it was not easy to say. 

At this moment he was dragged out of his reverie 
with a violent jerk. The girl at the next table had 
turned partly round and was looking at him. It 
was the girl with dark hair. She was looking at 
him in a sidelong way, but with curious intensity. 
The instant she caught his eye she looked away 
again. 


— El Ministerio de la Abundancia ha hecho una 
buena labor este ano — dijo moviendo la cabeza 
como persona bien enterada — . A proposito, Smith, 
<mio podras dejarme alguna hoja de afeitar? 


— jNi una! — le respondio Winston — . Llevo seis 
semanas usando la misma hoja. 

— Entonces, nada... Es que se me ocurrio, por si 
tenras. 


— Lo siento — dijo Winston. 

El cuac-cuac de la proxima mesa, que habra 
permanecido en silencio mientras duro el 
comunicado del Ministerio de la Abundancia, 
comenzo otra vez mucho mas fuerte. Por alguna 
razon, Winston penso de pronto en la senora Parsons 
con su cabello revuelto y el polvo de sus arrugas. 
Dentro de dos anos aquellos ninos la denunciarfan a 
la Policra del Pensamiento. La senora Parsons serfa 
vaporizada. Syme serfa vaporizado. A Winston lo 
vaporizarfan tambien. O'Brien serfa vaporizado. A 
Parsons, en cambio, nunca lo vaporizarfan. Tampoco 
el individuo de las gafas y del cuac — cuac serfa 
vaporizado nunca, Ni tampoco la joven del cabello 
negro, la del Departamento de Novela. Le parecra a 
Winston conocer por intuicion quien perecerfa, 
aunque no era facil determinar lo que permitra 
sobrevivir a una persona. 


En aquel momento le saco de su ensonacion una 
violenta sacudida. La muchacha de la mesa vecina se 
habfa vuelto y lo estaba mirando. [Era la muchacha 
morena del Departamento de Novela! Miraba a 
Winston a hurtadillas, pero con una curiosa 
intensidad. En cuanto sus ojos tropezaron con los de 
Winston, volvio la cabeza. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


85 


The sweat started out on Winston's backbone. A 
horrible pang of terror went through him. It was 
gone almost at once, but it left a sort of nagging 
uneasiness behind. Why was she watching him? 
Why did she keep following him about? 
Unfortunately he could not remember whether 
she had already been at the table when he arrived, 
or had come there afterwards. But yesterday, at 
any rate, during the Two Minutes Hate, she had 
sat immediately behind him when there was no 
apparent need to do so. Quite likely her real 
object had been to listen to him and make sure 
whether he was shouting loudly enough. 


His earlier thought returned to him: probably she 
was not actually a member of the Thought Police, 
but then it was precisely the amateur spy who 
was the greatest danger of all. He did not know 
how long she had been looking at him, but 
perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was 
possible that his features had not been perfectly 
under control. It was terribly dangerous to let 
your thoughts wander when you were in any 
public place or within range of a telescreen. The 
smallest thing could give you away. A nervous 
tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of 
muttering to yourself — anything that carried with 
it the suggestion of abnormality, of having 
something to hide. In any case, to wear an 
improper expression on your face (to look 
incredulous when a victory was announced, for 
example) was itself a punishable offence. There 
was even a word for it in Newspeak: 
FACECRIME, it was called. 


The girl had turned her back on him again. 
Perhaps after all she was not really following him 
about, perhaps it was coincidence that she had sat 
so close to him two days running. His cigarette 
had gone out, and he laid it carefully on the edge 
of the table. He would finish smoking it after 
work, if he could keep the tobacco in it. Quite 
likely the person at the next table was a spy of the 
Thought Police, and quite likely he would be in 
the cellars of the Ministry of Love within three 
days, but a cigarette end must not be wasted. 
Syme had folded up his strip of paper and stowed 
it away in his pocket. Parsons had begun talking 
again. 


Winston empezo a sudar. Le invadio una horrible 
sensacion de terror. Se le paso casi en seguida, pero 
le dejo intranquilo. ,-Por que lo miraba aquella 
mujer? ^Por que se la encontraba tantas veces? 
Desgraciadamente, no podia recordar si la joven 
estaba ya en aquella mesa cuando el llego o si habia 
llegado despues. Pero el dia anterior, durante los Dos 
Minutos de Odio, se habia sentado inmediatamente 
detras de el sin haber necesidad de ello. 
Seguramente, se proponia escuchar lo que el dijera y 
ver si gritaba lo bastante fuerte. 


Penso que probablemente la muchacha no era 
miembro de la Policia del Pensamiento, pero 
precisamente las espias aficionadas constituian el 
mayor peligro. No sabia Winston cuanto tiempo 
llevaba mirandolo la joven, pero quizas fueran cinco 
minutos. Era muy posible que en este tiempo no 
hubiera podido controlar sus gestos a la perfeccion. 
Constituia un terrible peligro pensar mientras se 
estaba en un sitio publico o al alcance de la 
telepantalla. El detalle mas pequeno podia 
traicionarle a uno. Un tic nervioso, una inconsciente 
mirada de inquietud, la costumbre de hablar con uno 
mismo entre dientes, todo lo que revelase la 
necesidad de ocultar algo. En todo caso, llevar en el 
rostro una expresion impropia (por ejemplo, parecer 
incredulo cuando se anunciaba una victoria) 
constituia un acto punible. Incluso habia una palabra 
para esto en neolengua: caracrimen. 


La muchacha recupero su posicion anterior. Quizas 
no estuviese persiguiendolo; quizas fuera pura 
coincidencia que se hubiera sentado tan cerca de el 
dos dias seguidos. Se le habia apagado el cigarrillo y 
lo puso cuidadosamente en el borde de la mesa. Lo 
terminaria de fumar despues del trabajo si es que el 
tabaco no se habia acabado de derramar para 
entonces. Seguramente, el individuo que estaba con 
la joven seria un agente de la Policia del Pensamiento 
y era muy probable, penso Winston, que a el lo 
llevaran a los calabozos del Ministerio del Amor 
dentro de tres dias, pero no era esta una razon para 
desperdiciar una colilla. Syme doblo su pedazo de 
papel y se lo guardo en el bolsillo. Parsons habia 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


86 


'Did I ever tell you, old boy,' he said, chuckling 
round the stem of his pipe, 'about the time when 
those two nippers of mine set fire to the old 
market-woman's skirt because they saw her 
wrapping up sausages in a poster of B.B.? 
Sneaked up behind her and set fire to it with a 
box of matches. Burned her quite badly, I 
believe. Little beggars, eh? But keen as mustard! 
That's a first-rate training they give them in the 
Spies nowadays — better than in my day, even. 
What d'you think's the latest thing they've served 
them out with? Ear trumpets for listening through 
keyholes! My little girl brought one home the 
other night — tried it out on our sitting-room door, 
and reckoned she could hear twice as much as 
with her ear to the hole. Of course it's only a toy, 
mind you. Still, gives 'em the right idea, eh?' 


At this moment the telescreen let out a piercing 
whistle. It was the signal to return to work. All 
three men sprang to their feet to join in the 
struggle round the lifts, and the remaining 
tobacco fell out of Winston's cigarette. 


empezado a hablar otra vez. 

— ^Te he contado, chico, lo que hicieron mis crfos 
en el mercado? <;,No? Pues un dfa le prendieron fuego 
a la falda de una vieja vendedora porque la vieron 
envolver unas salchichas en un cartel con el retrato 
del Gran Hermano. Se pusieron detras de ella y, sin 
que se diera cuenta, le prendieron fuego a la falda por 
abajo con una caja de cerillas. Le causaron graves 
quemaduras. Son traviesos, £eh? Pero eso sf, jmas 
finos...! Esto se lo deben a la buena ensenanza que se 
da hoy a los ninos en los Espfas, mucho mejor que en 
mi tiempo. Estan muy bien organizados. ^Quc creen 
ustedes que les han dado a los chicos ultimamente? 
Pues, unas trompetillas especiales para escuchar por 
las cerraduras. Mi nina trajo una a casa la otra noche. 
La probo en nuestra salita, y dijo que ofa con doble 
fuerza que si aplicaba el ofdo al agujero. Claro que 
solo es un juguete; sin embargo, asf se acostumbran 
los ninos desde pequenos. 

En aquel momento, la telepantalla dio un penetrante 
silbido. Era la serial para volver al trabajo. Los tres 
hombres se pusieron automaticamente en pie y se 
unieron a la multitud en la lucha por entrar en los 
ascensores, lo que hizo que el cigarrillo de Winston 
se vaciara por completo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


87 


Chapter 6 

Winston was writing in his diary: 

It was three years ago. It was on a dark evening, 
in a narrow side-street near one of the big railway 
stations. She was standing near a doorway in the 
wall, under a street lamp that hardly gave any 
light. She had a young face, painted very thick. It 
was really the paint that appealed to me, the 
whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips. 
Party women never paint their faces. There was 
nobody else in the street, and no telescreens. She 
said two dollars. I — 


For the moment it was too difficult to go on. He 
shut his eyes and pressed his fingers against them, 
trying to squeeze out the vision that kept recurring. 
He had an almost overwhelming temptation to 
shout a string of filthy words at the top of his 
voice. Or to bang his head against the wall, to kick 
over the table, and hurl the inkpot through the 
window — to do any violent or noisy or painful 
thing that might black out the memory that was 
tormenting him. 

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own 
nervous system. At any moment the tension inside 
you was liable to translate itself into some visible 
symptom. He thought of a man whom he had 
passed in the street a few weeks back; a quite 
ordinary-looking man, a Party member, aged 
thirty-five to forty, tallish and thin, carrying a 
brief-case. They were a few metres apart when the 
left side of the man's face was suddenly contorted 
by a sort of spasm. It happened again just as they 
were passing one another: it was only a twitch, a 
quiver, rapid as the clicking of a camera shutter, 
but obviously habitual. He remembered thinking at 
the time: That poor devil is done for. And what 
was frightening was that the action was quite 
possibly unconscious. The most deadly danger of 
all was talking in your sleep. There was no way of 
guarding against that, so far as he could see. 


CAPITULO VI 

Winston escribia en su Diario: 

Fue hace tres anos Era una tarde oscura, en una 
estrecha callejuela cerca de una de las estaciones 
del ferrocarril. Ella, de pie, apoyada en la pared 
cerca de una puerta, recibi'a la luz mortecina de 
un farol. Tenia una cara joven muy pintada. Lo 
que me atrajo fue la pintura, la blancura de 
aquella cara que parecia una mascara y los 
labios rojos y brillantes. Las mujeres del Partido 
nunca se pintan la cara. No habia nadie mas en 
la calle, ni telepantallas. Me dijo que dos 
dolares. Yo... 

Le era dificil seguir. Cerro los ojos y apreto las 
palmas de las manos contra ellos tratando de 
borrar la vision interior. Sentia una casi 
invencible tentacion de gritar una sarta de 
palabras. O de golpearse la cabeza contra la 
pared, de arrojar el tintero por la ventana, de 
hacer, en fin, cualquier acto violento, ruidoso, o 
doloroso, que le borrara el recuerdo que le 
atormentaba. 


Nuestro peor enemigo, reflexiono Winston, es 
nuestro sistema nervioso. En cualquier momento, 
la tension interior puede traducirse en cualquier 
smtoma visible. Penso en un hombre con quien se 
habia cruzado en la calle semanas atras: un 
hombre de aspecto muy corriente, un miembro 
del Partido de treinta y cinco a cuarenta anos, alto 
y delgado, que llevaba una cartera de mano. 
Estaban separados por unos cuantos metros 
cuando el lado izquierdo de la cara de aquel 
hombre se contrajo de pronto en una especie de 
espasmo. Esto volvio a ocurrir en el momento en 
que se cruzaban; fue solo un temblor rapidisimo 
como el disparo de un objetivo de camara 
fotografica, pero sin duda se trataba de un tic 
habitual. Winston recordaba haber pensado 
entonces: el pobre hombre esta perdido. Y lo 
aterrador era que el movimiento de los musculos 
era inconsciente. El peligro mortal por excelencia 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


88 


He drew his breath and went on writing: 

I went with her through the doorway and across a 
backyard into a basement kitchen. There was a bed 
against the wall, and a lamp on the table, turned 
down very low. She — 

His teeth were set on edge. He would have liked to 
spit. Simultaneously with the woman in the 
basement kitchen he thought of Katharine, his 
wife. Winston was married — had been married, at 
any rate: probably he still was married, so far as he 
knew his wife was not dead. He seemed to breathe 
again the warm stuffy odour of the basement 
kitchen, an odour compounded of bugs and dirty 
clothes and villainous cheap scent, but 
nevertheless alluring, because no woman of the 
Party ever used scent, or could be imagined as 
doing so. Only the proles used scent. In his mind 
the smell of it was inextricably mixed up with 
fornication. 

When he had gone with that woman it had been his 
first lapse in two years or thereabouts. Consorting 
with prostitutes was forbidden, of course, but it 
was one of those rules that you could occasionally 
nerve yourself to break. It was dangerous, but it 
was not a life-and-death matter. To be caught with 
a prostitute might mean five years in a forced- 
labour camp: not more, if you had committed no 
other offence. And it was easy enough, provided 
that you could avoid being caught in the act. The 
poorer quarters swarmed with women who were 
ready to sell themselves. Some could even be 
purchased for a bottle of gin, which the proles 
were not supposed to drink. Tacitly the Party was 
even inclined to encourage prostitution, as an 
outlet for instincts which could not be altogether 
suppressed. Mere debauchery did not matter very 
much, so long as it was furtive and joyless and 
only involved the women of a submerged and 
despised class. The unforgivable crime was 
promiscuity between Party members. But — though 
this was one of the crimes that the accused in the 
great purges invariably confessed to — it was 


era hablar en suenos. Contra eso no habia 
remedio. 

Contuvo la respiracion y siguio escribiendo: 

E litre con ellci en el portal y cruzamos un patio 
para bajar luego a una cocina que estaba en los 
sotanos. Habia una cama contra la pared, y una 
lampara en la mesilla con muy poca luz . Ella... 

Le rechinaban los dientes. Le hubiera gustado 
escupir. A la vez que en la mujer del sotano, 
penso Winston en Katharine, su esposa. Winston 
estaba casado; es decir, habia estado casado. 
Probablemente seguia estandolo, pues no sabia 
que su mujer hubiera muerto. Le parecio volver a 
aspirar el insoportable olor de la cocina del 
sotano, un olor a insectos, ropa sucia y perfume 
baratisimo; pero, sin embargo, atraia, ya que 
ninguna mujer del Partido usaba perfume ni podia 
uno imaginarsela perfumandose. Solamente los 
proles se perfumaban, y ese olor evocaba en la 
mente, de un modo inevitable, la fomicacion. 


Cuando estuvo con aquella mujer, fue la primera 
vez que habia caido Winston en dos anos 
aproximadamente. Por supuesto, toda relacion 
con prostitutas estaba prohibida, pero se admitia 
que alguna vez, mediante un acto de gran 
valentia, se permitiera uno infringir la ley. Era 
peligroso pero no un asunto de vida o muerte, 
porque ser sorprendido con una prostituta solo 
significaba cinco anos de trabajos forzados. 
Nunca mas de cinco anos con tal de que no se 
hubiera cometido otro delito a la vez. Lo cual 
resultaba estupendo ya que habia la posibilidad 
de que no le descubrieran a uno. Los barrios 
pobres abundaban en mujeres dispuestas a 
venderse. El precio de algunas era una botella de 
ginebra, bebida que se suministraba a los proles. 
Tacitamente, el Partido se inclinaba a estimular la 
prostitucion como salida de los instintos que no 
podian suprimirse. Esas juergas no importaban 
politicamente ya que eran furtivas y tristes y solo 
implicaban a mujeres de una clase sumergida y 
despreciada. El crimen imperdonable era la 
promiscuidad entre miembros del Partido. Pero 



George Orwell 


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89 


difficult to imagine any such thing actually 
happening. 


The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent 
men and women from forming loyalties which it 
might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared 
purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual 
act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, 
inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages 
between Party members had to be approved by a 
committee appointed for the purpose, and — though 
the principle was never clearly stated — permission 
was always refused if the couple concerned gave 
the impression of being physically attracted to one 
another. The only recognized purpose of marriage 
was to beget children for the service of the Party. 
Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a 
slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an 
enema. This again was never put into plain words, 
but in an indirect way it was rubbed into every 
Party member from childhood onwards. There 
were even organizations such as the Junior Anti- 
Sex League, which advocated complete celibacy 
for both sexes. All children were to be begotten by 
artificial insemination (ARTSEM, it was called in 
Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions. 
This, Winston was aware, was not meant 
altogether seriously, but somehow it fitted in with 
the general ideology of the Party. The Party was 
trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be 
killed, then to distort it and dirty it. He did not 
know why this was so, but it seemed natural that it 
should be so. And as far as the women were 
concerned, the Party's efforts were largely 
successful. 


He thought again of Katharine. It must be nine, 
ten-nearly eleven years since they had parted. It 
was curious how seldom he thought of her. For 
days at a time he was capable of forgetting that he 
had ever been married. They had only been 
together for about fifteen months. The Party did 
not permit divorce, but it rather encouraged 
separation in cases where there were no children. 

Katharine was a tall, fair-haired girl, very straight, 


— aunque este era uno de los crfmenes que los 
acusados confesaban siempre en las purgas — era 
casi imposible imaginar que tal desafuero pudiera 
suceder. 

La finalidad del Partido en este as unto no era solo 
evitar que hombres y mujeres establecieran 
vmculos imposibles de controlar. Su objetivo 
verdadero y no declarado era quitarle todo, placer 
al acto sexual. El enemigo no era tanto el amor 
como el erotismo, dentro del matrimonio y fuera 
de el. Todos los casamientos entre miembros del 
Partido tenfan que ser aprobados por un Comite 
nombrado con este fin Y — aunque al principio 
nunca fue establecido de un modo explicito — 
siempre se negaba el permiso si la pareja daba la 
impresion de hallarse ffsicamente enamorada. La 
unica finalidad admitida en el matrimonio era 
engendrar hijos en beneficio del Partido. La 
relacion sexual se consideraba como una pequena 
operation algo molesta, algo asi como soportar 
un enema. Tampoco esto se decia claramente, 
pero de un modo indirecto se grababa desde la 
infancia en los miembros del Partido. Habia 
incluso organizaciones como la Liga juvenil Anti- 
Sex, que defendia la solterfa absoluta para ambos 
sexos. Los nietos debian ser engendrados por 
insemination artificial ( semart , como se le 
llamaba en neolengua) y educados en 
instituciones publicas. Winston sabia que esta 
exageracion no se defendia en serio, pero que 
estaba de acuerdo con la ideologia general del 
Partido. Este trataba de matar el instinto sexual o, 
si no podia suprimirlo del todo, por lo menos 
deformarlo y mancharlo. No sabia Winston por 
que se seguia esta tactica, pero parecia natural 
que fuera asi. Y en cuanto a las mujeres, los 
esfuerzos del Partido lograban pleno exito. 

Volvio a pensar en Katharine. Debia de hacer 
nueve o diez anos, casi once, que se habian 
separado. Era curioso que se acordara tan poco de 
ella. Olvidaba durante dias enteros que habian 
estado casados. Solo permanecieron juntos unos 
quince meses. El Partido no permitia el divorcio, 
pero fomentaba las separaciones cuando no habia 
hijos. 

Katharine era una rubia alta, muy derecha y de 



George Orwell 


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90 


with splendid movements. She had a bold, aquiline 
face, a face that one might have called noble until 
one discovered that there was as nearly as possible 
nothing behind it. Very early in her married life he 
had decided — though perhaps it was only that he 
knew her more intimately than he knew most 
people — that she had without exception the most 
stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever 
encountered. She had not a thought in her head that 
was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, 
absolutely none that she was not capable of 
swallowing if the Party handed it out to her. 'The 
human sound-track' he nicknamed her in his own 
mind. Yet he could have endured living with her if 
it had not been for just one thing-sex. 

As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince 
and stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a 
jointed wooden image. And what was strange was 
that even when she was clasping him against her 
he had the feeling that she was simultaneously 
pushing him away with all her strength. The 
rigidity of her muscles managed to convey that 
impression. She would lie there with shut eyes, 
neither resisting nor co-operating but 
SUBMITTING. It was extraordinarily 
embarrassing, and, after a while, horrible. But even 
then he could have borne living with her if it had 
been agreed that they should remain celibate. But 
curiously enough it was Katharine who refused 
this. They must, she said, produce a child if they 
could. So the performance continued to happen, 
once a week quite regularly, whenever it was not 
impossible. She even used to remind him of it in 
the morning, as something which had to be done 
that evening and which must not be forgotten. She 
had two names for it. One was 'making a baby', 
and the other was 'our duty to the Party' (yes, she 
had actually used that phrase). Quite soon he grew 
to have a feeling of positive dread when the 
appointed day came round. But luckily no child 
appeared, and in the end she agreed to give up 
trying, and soon afterwards they parted. 

Winston sighed inaudibly. He picked up his pen 
again and wrote: 

She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, 
without any kind of preliminary in the most coarse, 


movimientos majestuosos. Tenia una cara audaz, 
aquilina, que podrfa haber pas ado por noble antes 
de descubrir que no habfa nada tras aquellas 
facciones. A1 principio de su vida de casados — 
aunque quiza fuera solo que Winston la conocfa 
mas mtimamente que a las demas personas — 
llego a la conclusion de que su mujer era la 
persona mas estupida, vulgar y vacfa que habfa 
conocido hasta entonces. No latfa en su cabeza ni 
un solo pensamiento que no fuera un slogan. Se 
tragaba cualquier imbecilidad que el Partido le 
ofreciera. Winston la llamaba en su interior «la 
banda sonora humana». Sin embargo, podfa 
haberla soportado de no haber sido por una cosa: 
el sexo. 

Tan pronto como la rozaba parecfa tocada por un 
resorte y se endurecfa. Abrazarla era como 
abrazar una imagen con juntas de madera. Y lo 
que era todavfa mas extrano: incluso cuando ella 
lo apretaba contra sf misma, el tenia la sensacion 
de que al mismo tiempo lo rechazaba con toda su 
fuerza. La rigidez de sus musculos ayudaba a dar 
esta impresion. Se quedaba allf echada con los 
ojos cerrados sin resistir ni cooperar, pero como 
sometible. Era de lo mas vergonzoso y, a la larga, 
horrible. Pero incluso asf habrfa podido soportar 
vivir con ella si hubieran decidido quedarse 
celibes. Pero curiosamente fue Katharine quien 
rehuso. «Debfan — dijo — producir un nino si 
podfan.». Asf que la comedia segufa 
representandose una vez por semana 
regularmente, mientras no fuese imposible. Ella 
incluso se lo recordaba por la manana como algo 
que habfa que hacer esa noche y que no debfa 
olvidarse. Tenfa dos expresiones para ello. Una 
era «hacer un bebe», y la otra «nuestro deber al 
Partido» (sf, habfa utilizado esta frase). Pronto 
empezo a tener una sensacion de positivo temor 
cuando llegaba el dfa. Pero por suerte no aparecio 
ningun nino y finalmente ella estuvo de acuerdo 
en dejar de probar. Y poco despues se separaron. 


Winston suspiro inaudiblemente. Volvio a coger 
la pluma y escribio: 

Se arreglo su la cama y, en seguida, sin 
preliminar alguno, del modo mas grosero y 



George Orwell 


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91 


horrible way you can imagine, pulled up her sk ir t. 
I— 


He saw himself standing there in the dim 
lamplight, with the smell of bugs and cheap scent 
in his nostrils, and in his heart a feeling of defeat 
and resentment which even at that moment was 
mixed up with the thought ofKatharine's white 
body, frozen for ever by the hypnotic power of the 
Party. Why did it always have to be like this? Why 
could he not have a woman of his own instead of 
these filthy scuffles at intervals of years? But a real 
love affair was an almost unthinkable event. The 
women of the Party were all alike. Chastity was as 
deep ingrained in them as Party loyalty. By careful 
early conditioning, by games and cold water, by 
the rubbish that was dinned into them at school 
and in the Spies and the Youth League, by 
lectures, parades, songs, slogans, and martial 
music, the natural feeling had been driven out of 
them. His reason told him that there must be 
exceptions, but his heart did not believe it. They 
were all impregnable, as the Party intended that 
they should be. And what he wanted, more even 
than to be loved, was to break down that wall of 
virtue, even if it were only once in his whole life. 
The sexual act, successfully performed, was 
rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime. Even to have 
awakened Katharine, if he could have achieved it, 
would have been like a seduction, although she 
was his wife. 

But the rest of the story had got to be written 
down. He wrote: 


I turned up the lamp. When I saw her in the 
light — 

After the darkness the feeble light of the paraffin 
lamp had seemed very bright. For the first time he 
could see the woman properly. He had taken a step 
towards her and then halted, full of lust and terror. 
He was painfully conscious of the risk he had 
taken in coming here. It was perfectly possible that 
the patrols would catch him on the way out: for 
that matter they might be waiting outside the door 


terrible que se puede imaginar, se levanto la 
falda. Yo... 


Se vio a sf mismo de pie en la mortecina luz con 
el olor a cucarachas y a perfume barato, y en su 
corazon broto un resentimiento que incluso en 
aquel instante se mezclaba con el recuerdo del 
bianco cuerpo de Katharine, frigido para siempre 
por el hipnotico poder del Partido. ,-Por que tenia 
que ser siempre asi? ^No podia el disponer de una 
mujer propia en vez de estas furcias a intervalos 
de varios anos? Pero un asunto amoroso de 
verdad era una fantasia irrealizable. Las mujeres 
del Partido eran todas iguales. La castidad estaba 
tan arraigada en ellas como la lealtad al Partido. 
Por la educacion que habian recibido en su 
infancia, por los juegos y las duchas de agua fria, 
por todas las estupideces que les metian en la 
cabeza, las conferencias, los desfiles, canciones, 
consignas y musica marcial, les arrancaban todo 
sentimiento natural. La razon le decia que 
forzosamente habria excepciones, pero su 
corazon no lo creia. Todas ellas eran 
inalcanzables, como deseaba el Partido. Y lo que 
el queria, aun mas que ser amado, era derruir 
aquel muro de estupidez aunque fuera una sola 
vez en su vida. El acto sexual, bien realizado, era 
una rebeldia. El deseo era un crimental. Si 
hubiera conseguido despertar los sentidos de 
Katharine, esto habria equivalido a una seduccion 
aunque se trataba de su mujer. 

Pero tenia que contar el resto de la historia. 
Escribio: 

Encendi la luz. Cuando la vi claramente... 


Despues de la casi inexistente luz de la lamparilla 
de aceite, la luz electrica parecia cegadora. Por 
primera vez pudo ver a la mujer tal como era. 
Avanzo un paso hacia ella y se detuvo 
horrorizado. Comprendia el riesgo a que se habia 
expuesto. Era muy posible que las patrullas lo 
sorprendieran a la salida. Mas aun: quiza lo 
estuvieran esperando ya a la puerta. Nada iba a 



George Orwell 


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92 


at this moment. If he went away without even 
doing what he had come here to do — ! 

It had got to be written down, it had got to be 
confessed. What he had suddenly seen in the 
lamplight was that the woman was OLD. The paint 
was plastered so thick on her face that it looked as 
though it might crack like a cardboard mask. There 
were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly 
dreadful detail was that her mouth had fallen a 
little open, revealing nothing except a cavernous 
blackness. She had no teeth at all. 

He wrote hurriedly, in scrabbling handwriting: 

When I saw her in the light she was quite an old 
woman, fifty years old at least. But I went ahead 
and did it just the same. 

He pressed his fingers against his eyelids again. He 
had written it down at last, but it made no 
difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge 
to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as 
strong as ever. 


ganar con marcharse sin hacer lo que se habia 
propuesto. 

Todo aquello tenia que escribirlo, confesarlo. Vio 
de pronto a la luz de la bombilla que la mujer era 
vieja. La pintura se apegotaba en su cara tanto 
que parecia ir a resquebrajarse como una careta 
de carton. Tenia mechones de cabellos blancos; 
pero el detalle mas horroroso era que la boca, 
entreabierta, parecia a oscura cavema. No tenia 
ningun diente. 


Winston escribio a toda prisa: 

Cuando la vi a plena luz resultd una verdadera 
vieja. Por lo menos tenia cincuenta anos. Pero, 
de todos modos, lo hice. 

Volvio a apoyar las palmas de las manos sobre 
los ojos. Ya lo habia escrito, pero de nada servia. 
Seguia con la misma necesidad de gritar 
palabrotas con toda la fuerza de sus pulmones. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


93 


Chapter 7 

'If there is hope,' wrote Winston, 'it lies in the 
proles.' 

If there was hope, it MUST lie in the proles, 
because only there in those swarming disregarded 
masses, 85 per cent of the population of Oceania, 
could the force to destroy the Party ever be 
generated. The Party could not be overthrown from 
within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, had no 
way of coming together or even of identifying one 
another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, 
as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that 
its members could ever assemble in larger numbers 
than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the 
eyes, an inflexion of the voice, at the most, an 
occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only 
they could somehow become conscious of their 
own strength, would have no need to conspire. 
They needed only to rise up and shake themselves 
like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they 
could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. 
Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? 
And yet — ! 


He remembered how once he had been walking 
down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of 
hundreds of voices women's voices — had burst 
from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great 
formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud 
'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on like the 
reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's 
started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are 
breaking loose at last! When he had reached the 
spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred 
women crowding round the stalls of a street market, 
with faces as tragic as though they had been the 
doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this 
moment the general despair broke down into a 
multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that 
one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans. 
They were wretched, flimsy things, but cooking- 
pots of any kind were always difficult to get. Now 
the supply had unexpectedly given out. The 
successful women, bumped and jostled by the rest, 
were trying to make off with their saucepans while 


CAPITULO VII 

Si hay alguna espera, escribio Winston, estd en los 
proles. 

Si habia esperanza, tenia que estar en los proles 
porque solo en aquellas masas abandonadas, que 
constituian el ochenta y cinco por ciento de la 
poblacion de Oceania, podrfa encontrarse la fuerza 
suficiente para destruir al Partido. Este no podia 
descomponerse desde dentro. Sus enemigos, si los 
tenia en su interior, no podian de ningun modo 
unirse, ni siquiera identificarse mutuamente. 
Incluso si existia la legendaria Hermandad — y 
era muy posible que existiese resultaba 
inconcebible que sus miembros se pudieran reunir 
en grupos mayores de dos o tres. La rebeldia no 
podia pasar de un destello en la mirada o 
determinada inflexion en la voz; a lo mas, alguna 
palabra murmurada. Pero los proles, si pudieran 
darse cuenta de su propia fuerza, no necesitanan 
conspirar. Les bastarfa con encabritarse como un 
caballo que se sacude las moscas. Si quisieran 
podrian destrozar el Partido manana por la 
manana. Desde luego, antes o despues se les 
ocurrira. Y, sin embargo... 

Recordo Winston una vez que habia dado un 
paseo por una calle de mucho trafico cuando oyo 
un tremendo grito multiple. Centenares de voces, 
voces de mujeres, salian de una calle lateral. Era 
un formidable grito de ira y desesperacion, un 
tremendo jO-o-o-o-oh! Winston se sobresalto 
terriblemente. jYa empezo! jUn motin!, penso. 
Por fin, los proles se sacudian el yugo; pero 
cuando llego al sitio de la aglomeracion vio que 
una multitud de doscientas o trescientas mujeres se 
agolpaban sobre los puestos de un mercado 
callejero con expresiones tan tragicas como si 
fueran las pasajeras de un barco en trance de 
hundirse. En aquel momento, la desesperacion 
general se quebro en innumerables peleas 
individuales. Por lo visto, en uno de los puestos 
habian estado vendiendo sartenes de lata. Eran 
utensilios muy malos, pero los cacharros de cocina 
eran siempre de casi imposible adquisicion. Por 
fin, habia llegado una provision inesperadamente. 
Las mujeres que lograron adquirir alguna sarten 



George Orwell 


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94 


dozens of others clamoured round the stall, 
accusing the stall-keeper of favouritism and of 
having more saucepans somewhere in reserve. 
There was a fresh outburst of yells. Two bloated 
women, one of them with her hair coming down, 
had got hold of the same saucepan and were trying 
to tear it out of one another's hands. For a moment 
they were both tugging, and then the handle came 
off. Winston watched them disgustedly. And yet, 
just for a moment, what almost frightening power 
had sounded in that cry from only a few hundred 
throats! Why was it that they could never shout l ik e 
that about anything that mattered? 


He wrote: 

Until they become conscious they will never 
rebel, and until after theyhave rebelled they cannot 
become conscious. 

That, he reflected, might almost have been a 
transcription from one of the Party textbooks. The 
Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the 
proles from bondage. Before the Revolution they 
had been hideously oppressed by the capitalists, 
they had been starved and flogged, women had 
been forced to work in the coal mines (women still 
did work in the coal mines, as a matter of fact), 
children had been sold into the factories at the age 
of six. But simultaneously, true to the Principles of 
doublethink, the Party taught that the proles were 
natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, 
like animals, by the application of a few simple 
rules. In reality very little was known about the 
proles. It was not necessary to know much. So long 
as they continued to work and breed, their other 
activities were without importance. Left to 
themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains 
of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that 
appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral 
pattern. They were bom, they grew up in the 
gutters, they went to work at twelve, they passed 
through a brief blossoming-period of beauty and 
sexual desire, they married at twenty, they were 
middle-aged at thirty, they died, for the most part, 
at sixty. Heavy physical work, the care of home and 
children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, 
football, beer, and above all, gambling, filled up the 


fueron atacadas por las demas y trataban de 
escaparse con sus trofeos mientras que las otras las 
rodeaban y acusaban de favoritismo a la 
vendedora. Aseguraban que tenia mas en reserva. 
Aumentaron los chillidos. Dos mujeres, una de 
ellas con el pelo suelto, se habian apoderado de la 
misma sarten y cada una intentaba quitarsela a la 
otra. Tiraron cada una por su lado hasta que se 
rompio el mango. Winston las miro con asco. Sin 
embargo, jque energias tan aterradoras habia 
percibido el bajo aquella griterfa! Y, en total, no 
eran mas que dos o tres centenares de gargantas. 
^Por que no protestarfan asi por cada cosa de 
verdadera importancia? 

Escribio: 

Hasta que no tengan conciencia de su fuerza, no 
se revelardn, y hasta despues de haberse rebelado, 
no serdn conscientes. Este es el problema. 

Winston penso que sus palabras parecian sacadas 
de uno de los libros de texto del Partido. El Partido 
pretendia, desde luego, haber liberado a los proles 
de la esclavitud. Antes de la Revolucion, eran 
explotados y oprimidos ignominiosamente por los 
capitalistas. Pasaban hambre. Las mujeres tenian 
que trabajar a la viva fuerza en las minas de 
carbon (por supuesto, las mujeres seguian 
trabajando en las minas de carbon), los ninos eran 
vendidos a las fabricas a la edad de seis anos. 
Pero, simultaneamente, fiel a los principios del 
doblepensar, el Partido ensenaba que los proles 
eran inferiores por naturaleza y debian ser 
mantenidos bien sujetos, como animales, mediante 
la aplicacion de unas cuantas reglas muy sencillas. 
En realidad, se sabia muy poco de los proles. Y no 
era necesario saber mucho de ellos. Mientras 
continuaran trabajando y teniendo hijos, sus demas 
actividades carecian de importancia. Dejandoles 
en libertad como ganado suelto en la pampa de la 
Argentina, tenian un estilo de vida que parecia 
series natural. Se regian por normas ancestrales. 
Nacian, crecian en el arroyo, empezaban a trabajar 
a los doce anos, pasaban por un breve perfodo de 
belleza y deseo sexual, se casaban a los veinte 
anos, empezaban a envejecer a los treinta y se 
morian casi todos ellos hacia los sesenta anos. El 
duro trabajo fisico, el cuidado del hogar y de los 



George Orwell 


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95 


horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was 
not difficult. A few agents of the Thought Police 
moved always among them, spreading false 
rumours and marking down and eliminating the few 
individuals who were judged capable of becoming 
dangerous; but no attempt was made to indoctrinate 
them with the ideology of the Party. It was not 
desirable that the proles should have strong political 
feelings. All that was required of them was a 
primitive patriotism which could be appealed to 
whenever it was necessary to make them accept 
longer working-hours or shorter rations. And even 
when they became discontented, as they sometimes 
did, their discontent led nowhere, because being 
without general ideas, they could only focus it on 
petty specific grievances. The larger evils 
invariably escaped their notice. The great majority 
of proles did not even have telescreens in their 
homes. Even the civil police interfered with them 
very little. There was a vast amount of criminality 
in London, a whole world-within-a-world of 
thieves, bandits, prostitutes, drug-peddlers, and 
racketeers of every description; but since it all 
happened among the proles themselves, it was of no 
importance. In all questions of morals they were 
allowed to follow their ancestral code. The sexual 
puritanism of the Party was not imposed upon them. 
Promiscuity went unpunished, divorce was 
permitted. For that matter, even religious worship 
would have been permitted if the proles had shown 
any sign of needing or wanting it. They were 
beneath suspicion. As the Party slogan put it: 
'Proles and animals are free.' 


Winston reached down and cautiously scratched his 
varicose ulcer. It had begun itching again. The thing 
you invariably came back to was the impossibility 
of knowing what life before the Revolution had 
really been like. He took out of the drawer a copy 
of a children's history textbook which he had 
borrowed from Mrs Parsons, and began copying a 
passage into the diary: 

In the old days (it ran), before the glorious 
Revolution, London was not the beautiful city that 
we know today. It was a dark, dirty, miserable place 
where hardly anybody had enough to eat and where 
hundreds and thousands of poor people had no 


hijos, las mezquinas peleas entre vecinos, el cine, 
el futbol, la cerveza y sobre todo, el juego, 
llenaban su horizonte mental. No era dificil 
mantenerlos a raya. Unos cuantos agentes de la 
Policia del Pensamiento circulaban entre ellos, 
esparciendo rumores falsos y eliminando a los 
pocos considerados capaces de convertirse en 
peligrosos; pero no se intentaba adoctrinarlos con 
la ideologia del Partido. No era deseable que los 
proles tuvieran sentimientos politicos intensos. 
Todo lo que se les pedia era un patriotismo 
primitivo al que se recurrfa en caso de necesidad 
para que trabajaran horas extraordinarias o 
aceptaran raciones mas pequenas. E incluso 
cuando cundia entre ellos el descontento, como 
ocurrfa a veces, era un descontento que no servia 
para nada porque, por carecer de ideas generates, 
concentraban su instinto de rebeldia en quejas 
sobre minucias de la vida corriente. Los grandes 
males, ni los olian. La mayoria de los proles ni 
siquiera era vigilada con telepantallas. La policia 
los molestaba muy poco. En Londres habia mucha 
criminalidad, un mundo revuelto de ladrones, 
bandidos, prostitutas, traficantes en drogas y 
maleantes de toda clase; pero como sus 
actividades tenian lugar entre los mismos proles, 
daba igual que existieran o no. En todas las 
cuestiones de moral se les permitia a los proles 
que siguieran su codigo ancestral. No se les 
imponia el puritanismo sexual del Partido. No se 
castigaba su promiscuidad y se permitia el 
divorcio. Incluso el culto religioso se les habrfa 
permitido si los proles hubieran manifestado la 
menor inclinacion a el. Como decia el Partido: 
«los proles y los animates son libres». 

Winston se rasco con precaucion sus varices. 
Habian empezado a picarle otra vez. Siempre 
volvia a preocuparle saber que habrfa sido la vida 
anterior a la Revolucion. Saco del cajon un 
ejemplar del libro de historia infantil que le habia 
prestado la senora Parsons y empezo a copiar un 
trozo en su diario: 


En los antiguos tiempos ( clecia el libro de texto) 
antes de la gloriosa Revolucion, no era Londres la 
hermosa ciudad que hoy conocemos. Era un lugar 
tenebroso, sucio y miserable donde casi nadie 
tenia nada que comer y donde centenares y 



George Orwell 


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96 


boots on their feet and not even a roof to sleep 
under. Children no older than you had to work 
twelve hours a day for cruel masters who flogged 
them with whips if they worked too slowly and fed 
them on nothing but stale breadcrusts and water. 
But in among all this terrible poverty there were 
just a few great big beautiful houses that were lived 
in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants 
to look after them. These rich men were called 
capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked 
faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite 
page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black 
coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, 
shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called 
a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists, 
and no one else was allowed to wear it. The 
capitalists owned everything in the world, and 
everyone else was their slave. They owned all the 
land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the 
money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw 
them into prison, or they could take his job away 
and starve him to death. When any ordinary person 
spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to 
him, and take off his cap and address him as 'Sir'. 
The chief of all the capitalists was called the King, 
and — 


But he knew the rest of the catalogue. There would 
be mention of the bishops in their lawn sleeves, the 
judges in their ermine robes, the pillory, the stocks, 
the treadmill, the cat-o'-nine tails, the Lord Mayor's 
Banquet, and the practice of kissing the Pope's toe. 
There was also something called the JUS PRIMAE 
NOCTIS, which would probably not be mentioned 
in a textbook for children. It was the law by which 
every capitalist had the right to sleep with any 
woman working in one of his factories. 


How could you tell how much of it was lies? It 
MIGHT be true that the average human being was 
better off now than he had been before the 
Revolution. The only evidence to the contrary was 
the mute protest in your own bones, the instinctive 
feeling that the conditions you lived in were 


millares de desgraciados no tenian zapatos que 
ponerse ni siquiera un techo bajo el cual dormir. 
Ninos de la misma edad que vosotros debi'an 
trabajar doce boras al dia a las ordenes de 
crueles amos que los castigaban con Idtigos si 
trabajaban con demasiada lentitud y solamente 
los alimentaban con pan duro y agua. Pero entre 
toda estci horrible miseria, habi'a unas cuantas 
casas grandes y hermosas donde vivkm los ricos, 
cada uno de los cuales tenia por lo menos treinta 
criaclos a su disposicidn. Estos ricos se llamaban 
capitcdistas. Eran individuos gordos y feos con 
caras de malvados como el que puede apreciarse 
en la ilustracion de la pdgina siguiente. Podreis 
ver, ninos, que va vestido con una chaqueta negra 
larga a la que llamaban «frac» y un sombrero 
muy raro y brillante que parece el tubo de una 
estufa, cd que llamaban «sombrero de copa». Este 
era el uniforme de los capitalistas, y nadie mas 
podia llevarlo, los capitcdistas eran duenos de 
todo que habia en el mundo y todos los que no 
eran capitcdistas pasaban a ser sus esclavos. 
Poseian toda la tierra, toclas las casas, toclas las 
fdbricas y el clinero todo. Si cdguien les 
clesobedecia, era encarcelado inmediatamente y 
podian clejarlo sin trabajo y hacerlo morir de 
hambre. Cuando una persona corriente hablaba 
con un capitalists tenia que descubrirse, 
inclinarse profundamente ante el y llamarlo senor. 
El jefe supremo de todos los capitalistas era 
llamado el Rey y... 

Winston se sabia toda la continuacion. Se hablaba 
alii de los obispos y de sus vestimentas, de los 
jueces con sus trajes de armino, de la horca, del 
gato de nueve colas, del banquete anual que daba 
el alcalde y de la costumbre de besar el anillo del 
Papa. Tambien habia una referenda al jus primae 
noctis que no convenia mencionar en un libro de 
texto para ninos. Era la ley segun la cual todo 
capitalista tenia el derecho de dormir con 
cualquiera de las mujeres que trabajaban en sus 
fabricas. 

^Como saber que era verdad y que era mentira en 
aquello? Despues de todo, podia ser verdad que la 
Humanidad estuviera mejor entonces que antes de 
la Revolucion. La unica prueba en contrario era la 
protesta muda de la carne y los huesos, la 
instintiva sensacion de que las condiciones de vida 



George Orwell 


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97 


intolerable and that at some other time they must 
have been different. It struck him that the truly 
characteristic thing about modern life was not its 
cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its 
dinginess, its listlessness. Life, if you looked about 
you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that 
streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the 
ideals that the Party was trying to achieve. Great 
areas of it, even for a Party member, were neutral 
and non-political, a matter of slogging through 
dreary jobs, fighting for a place on the Tube, 
darning a wom-out sock, cadging a saccharine 
tablet, saving a cigarette end. The ideal set up by 
the Party was something huge, terrible, and 
glittering — a world of steel and concrete, of 
monstrous machines and terrifying weapons — a 
nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward 
in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and 
shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, 
fighting, triumphing, persecuting — three hundred 
million people all with the same face. The reality 
was decaying, dingy cities where underfed people 
shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes, in patched-up 
nineteenth-century houses that smelt always of 
cabbage and bad lavatories. He seemed to see a 
vision of London, vast and ruinous, city of a million 
dustbins, and mixed up with it was a picture of Mrs 
Parsons, a woman with lined face and wispy hair, 
fiddling helplessly with a blocked waste-pipe. 


He reached down and scratched his ankle again. 
Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears 
with statistics proving that people today had more 
food, more clothes, better houses, better 
recreations — that they lived longer, worked shorter 
hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, 
more intelligent, better educated, than the people of 
fifty years ago. Not a word of it could ever be 
proved or disproved. The Party claimed, for 
example, that today 40 per cent of adult proles were 
literate: before the Revolution, it was said, the 
number had only been 15 per cent. The Party 
claimed that the infant mortality rate was now only 
160 per thousand, whereas before the Revolution it 


eran intolerables y que en otro tiempo tenran que 
haber sido diferentes. A Winston le sorprendra que 
lo mas caracterfstico de la vida modema no fuera 
su crueldad ni su inseguridad, sino sencillamente 
su vaciedad, su absoluta falta de contenido. La 
vida no se parecra, no solo a las mentiras lanzadas 
por las telepantallas, sino ni siquiera a los ideales 
que el Partido trataba de lograr. Grandes zonas 
vitales, incluso para un miembro del Partido, nada 
tenran que ver con la political se trataba solo de 
pasar el tiempo en inmundas tareas, luchar para 
poder meterse en el Metro, remendarse un calcetm 
como un colador, disolver con resignacion una 
pastilla de sacarina y emplear toda la habilidad 
posible para conservar una colilla. El ideal del 
Partido era inmenso, terrible y deslumbrante; un 
mundo de acero y de hormigon armado, de 
maquinas monstruosas y espantosas armas, una 
nacion de guerreros y fanaticos que marchaba en 
bloque siempre hacia adelante en unidad perfecta, 
pensando todos los mismos pensamientos y 
repitiendo a grito unanime la misma consigna, 
trabajando perpetuamente, luchando, triunfantes, 
persiguiendo a los traidores... trescientos millones 
de personas todas ellas con las misma cara. La 
realidad era, en cambio: lugubres ciudades donde 
la gente, apenas alimentada, arrastraba de un lado 
a otro sus pies calzados con agujereados zapatos y 
vivia en ruinosas casas del siglo XIX en las que 
predominaba el olor a verduras cocidas y retretes 
en malas condiciones. Winston creyo ver un 
Londres inmenso y en ruinas, una ciudad de un 
millon de cubos de la basura y, mezclada con esta 
vision, la imagen de la senora Parsons con sus 
arrugas y su pelo enmaranado tratando de arreglar 
infructuosamente una canerfa atascada. 

Volvio a rascarse el tobillo. Dia y noche las 
telepantallas le herran a uno el timpano con 
estadrsticas scgun las cuales todos tenran mas 
alimento, mas trajes, mejores casas, 
entretenimientos mas divertidos, todos vivran mas 
tiempo, trabajaban menos horas, eran mas sanos, 
fuertes, felices, inteligentes y educados que los 
que habian vivido hacia cincuenta anos. Ni una 
palabra de todo ello podia ser probada ni refutada. 
Por ejemplo, el Partido sostenra que el cuarenta 
por ciento de los proles adultos sabra leer y 
escribir y que antes de la Revolucion todos ellos, 
menos un quince por ciento, eran analfabetos. 
Tambien aseguraba el Partido que la mortalidad 



George Orwell 


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98 


had been 300 — and so it went on. It was like a 
single equation with two unknowns. It might very 
well be that literally every word in the history 
books, even the things that one accepted without 
question, was pure fantasy. For all he knew there 
might never have been any such law as the JUS 
PRIMAE NOCTIS, or any such creature as a 
capitalist, or any such garment as a top hat. 


Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, 
the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just 
once in his life he had possessed — AFTER the 
event: that was what counted — concrete, 

unmistakable evidence of an act of falsification. He 
had held it between his fingers for as long as thirty 
seconds. In 1973, it must have been — at any rate, it 
was at about the time when he and Katharine had 
parted. But the really relevant date was seven or 
eight years earlier. 


The story really began in the middle sixties, the 
period of the great purges in which the original 
leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once and 
for all. By 1970 none of them was left, except Big 
Brother himself. All the rest had by that time been 
exposed as traitors and counter-revolutionaries. 
Goldstein had fled and was hiding no one knew 
where, and of the others, a few had simply 
disappeared, while the majority had been executed 
after spectacular public trials at which they made 
confession of their crimes. Among the last 
survivors were three men named Jones, Aaronson, 
and Rutherford. It must have been in 1965 that 
these three had been arrested. As often happened, 
they had vanished for a year or more, so that one 
did not know whether they were alive or dead, and 
then had suddenly been brought forth to incriminate 
themselves in the usual way. They had confessed to 
intelligence with the enemy (at that date, too, the 
enemy was Eurasia), embezzlement of public funds, 
the murder of various trusted Party members, 
intrigues against the leadership of Big Brother 
which had started long before the Revolution 
happened, and acts of sabotage causing the death of 
hundreds of thousands of people. After confessing 
to these things they had been pardoned, reinstated 


infantil era ya solo del ciento sesenta por mil 
mientras que antes de la Revolucion habfa sido del 
trescientos por mil... y asf sucesivamente. Era 
como una ecuacion con dos incognitas. Bien podia 
ocurrir que todos los libros de historia fueran una 
pura fantasia. Winston sospechaba que nunca 
habfa existido una ley sobre el jus primae noctis ni 
persona alguna como el tipo de capitalista que 
pintaban, ni siquiera un sombrero como aquel que 
parecfa un tubo de estufa. 

Todo se desvanecfa en la niebla. El pasado estaba 
borrado. Se habfa olvidado el acto mismo de 
borrar, y la mentira se convertfa en verdad. Solo 
una vez en su vida habfa tenido Winston en la 
mano — despues del hecho y eso es lo que 
importaba — una prueba concreta y evidente de 
un acto de falsificacion. La habfa tenido entre sus 
dedos nada menos que treinta segundos. Fue en 
1973, aproximadamente, pero desde luego por la 
epoca en que Katharine y el se habfan separado. 
La fecha a que se referfa el documento era de siete 
u ocho anos antes. 

La historia empezo en el sesenta y tantos, en el 
perfodo de las grandes purgas, en el cual los 
primitivos jefes de la Revolucion fueron 
suprimidos de una sola vez. Hacia 1970 no 
quedaba ninguno de ellos, excepto el Gran 
Hermano. Todos los demas habfan sido acusados 
de traidores y contrarrevolucionarios. Goldstein 
huyo y se escondio nadie sabfa donde. De los 
demas, unos cuantos habfan desaparecido mientras 
que la mayorfa fue ejecutada despues de unos 
procesos publicos de gran espectacularidad en los 
que confesaron sus crfmenes. Entre los illtimos 
supervivientes habfa tres individuos llamados 
Jones, Aaronson y Rutherford. Hacia 1965 — la 
fecha no era segura — los tres fueron detenidos. 
Como ocurrfa con frecuencia, desaparecieron 
durante uno o mas anos de modo que nadie sabfa 
si estaban vivos o muertos y luego aparecieron de 
pronto para acusarse ellos mismos de haber 
cometido terribles crfmenes. Reconocieron haber 
estado en relacion con el enemigo (por entonces el 
enemigo era Eurasia, que habfa de volver a serlo), 
malversacion de fondos publicos, asesinato de 
varios miembros del Partido dignos de toda 
confianza, intrigas contra el mando del Gran 
Hermano que ya habfan empezado mucho antes de 



George Orwell 


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99 


in the Party, and given posts which were in fact 
sinecures but which sounded important. All three 
had written long, abject articles in 'The Times', 
analysing the reasons for their defection and 
promising to make amends. 


Some time after their release Winston had actually 
seen all three of them in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He 
remembered the sort of terrified fascination with 
which he had watched them out of the corner of his 
eye. They were men far older than himself, relics of 
the ancient world, almost the last great figures left 
over from the heroic days of the Party. The glamour 
of the underground struggle and the civil war still 
faintly clung to them. He had the feeling, though 
already at that time facts and dates were growing 
blurry, that he had known their names years earlier 
than he had known that of Big Brother. But also 
they were outlaws, enemies, untouchables, doomed 
with absolute certainty to extinction within a year 
or two. No one who had once fallen into the hands 
of the Thought Police ever escaped in the end. They 
were corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave. 


There was no one at any of the tables nearest to 
them. It was not wise even to be seen in the 
neighbourhood of such people. They were sitting in 
silence before glasses of the gin flavoured with 
cloves which was the speciality of the cafe. Of the 
three, it was Rutherford whose appearance had 
most impressed Winston. Rutherford had once been 
a famous caricaturist, whose brutal cartoons had 
helped to inflame popular opinion before and 
during the Revolution. Even now, at long intervals, 
his cartoons were appearing in The Times. They 
were simply an imitation of his earlier manner, and 
curiously lifeless and unconvincing. Always they 
were a rehashing of the ancient themes — slum 
tenements, starving children, street battles, 
capitalists in top hats — even on the barricades the 
capitalists still seemed to cling to their top hats an 


estallar la Revolucion y actos de sabotaje que 
habian costado la vida a centenares de miles de 
personas. Despues de confesar todo esto, los 
perdonaron, les devolvieron sus cargos en el 
Partido, puestos que eran en realidad inutiles, pero 
que tenfan nombres sonoros e importantes. Los 
tres escribieron largos y abyectos articulos en el 
Times analizando las razones que habian tenido 
para desertar y prometiendo enmendarse. 

Poco tiempo despues de ser puestos en libertad 
esos tres hombres, Winston los habia visto en el 
Cafe del Nogal. Recordaba con que aterrada 
fascinacion los habia observado con el rabillo del 
ojo. Eran mucho mas viejos que el, reliquias del 
mundo antiguo, casi las ultimas grandes figuras 
que habian quedado de los primeros y heroicos 
dias del Partido. Todavia llevaban como una 
aureola el brillo de su participacion clandestina en 
las primeras luchas y en la guerra civil. Winston 
creyo haber oido los nombres de estos tres 
personajes mucho antes de saber que existia el 
Gran Hermano, aunque con el tiempo se le 
confundian en la mente las fechas y los hechos. 
Sin embargo, estaban ya fuera de la ley, eran 
enemigos intocables, se cemia sobre ellos la 
absoluta certeza de un proximo aniquilamiento. 
Cuestion de uno o dos anos. Nadie que hubiera 
caido una vez en manos de la Policia del 
Pensamiento, podia escaparse para siempre. Eran 
cadaveres que esperaban la hora de ser enviados 
otra vez a la tumba. 

No habia nadie en ninguna de las mesas proximas 
a ellos. No era prudente que le vieran a uno cerca 
de semejantes personas. Los tres, silenciosos, 
bebian ginebra con clavo; una especialidad de la 
casa. De los tres, era Rutherford el que mas habia 
impresionado a Winston. En tiempos, Rutherford 
fue un famoso caricaturista cuyas brutales satiras 
habian ayudado a inflamar la opinion popular 
antes y durante la Revolucion. Incluso ahora, a 
largos intervalos, aparecian sus caricaturas y 
satiricas historietas en el Times. Eran una 
imitacion de su antiguo estilo y ya no tenian vida 
ni convencian. Era volver a cocinar los antiguos 
temas: ninos que morian de hambre, luchas 
callejeras, capitalistas con sombrero de copa (hasta 
en las barricadas seguian los capitalistas con su 
sombrero de copa), es decir, un esfuerzo 



George Orwell 


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100 


endless, hopeless effort to get back into the past. He 
was a monstrous man, with a mane of greasy grey 
hair, his face pouched and seamed, with thick 
negroid lips. At one time he must have been 
immensely strong; now his great body was sagging, 
sloping, bulging, falling away in every direction. 
He seemed to be breaking up before one's eyes, like 
a mountain crumbling. 

It was the lonely hour of fifteen. Winston could not 
now remember how he had come to be in the cafe at 
such a time. The place was almost empty. A tinny 
music was trickling from the telescreens. The three 
men sat in their comer almost motionless, never 
speaking. Uncommanded, the waiter brought fresh 
glasses of gin. There was a chessboard on the table 
beside them, with the pieces set out but no game 
started. And then, for perhaps half a minute in all, 
something happened to the telescreens. The tune 
that they were playing changed, and the tone of the 
music changed too. There came into it — but it was 
something hard to describe. It was a peculiar, 
cracked, braying, jeering note: in his mind Winston 
called it a yellow note. And then a voice from the 
telescreen was singing: 


Under the spreading chestnut tree 
I sold you and you sold me: 

There lie they, and here lie we 
Under the spreading chestnut tree. 


The three men never stirred. But when Winston 
glanced again at Rutherford's ruinous face, he saw 
that his eyes were full of tears. And for the first 
time he noticed, with a kind of inward shudder, and 
yet not knowing AT WHAT he shuddered, that both 
Aaronson and Rutherford had broken noses. 

A little later all three were re-arrested. It appeared 
that they had engaged in fresh conspiracies from the 
very moment of their release. At their second trial 
they confessed to all their old crimes over again, 
with a whole string of new ones. They were 
executed, and their fate was recorded in the Party 
histories, a warning to posterity. About five years 
after this, in 1973, Winston was unrolling a wad of 
documents which had just flopped out of the 


desesperado por volver a lo de antes. Era un 
hombre monstruoso con una crencha de cabellos 
gris grasienta, bolsones en la cara y unos labios 
negroides muy gruesos. De joven debio de ser 
muy fuerte; ahora su voluminoso cuerpo se 
inclinaba y parecla derrumbarse en todas las 
direcciones. Daba la impresion de una montana 
que se iba a desmoronar de un momento a otro. 

Era la solitaria hora de las quince. Winston no 
podia recordar ya por que habla entrado en el cafe 
a esa hora. No habla casi nadie alll. Una 
musiquilla brotaba de las telepantallas. Los tres 
hombres, sentados en un rincon, casi inmoviles, no 
hablaban ni una palabra. El camarero, sin que le 
pidieran nada, volvla a llenar los vasos de ginebra. 
Habla un tablero de ajedrez sobre la mesa, con 
todas las piezas colocadas, pero no hablan 
empezado a jugar. Entonces, quiza solo durante 
medio minuto, ocurrio algo en la telepantalla. 
Cambio la musica que tocaba. Era diflcil describir 
el tono de la nueva musica: una nota burlona, 
cascada, que a veces parecla un rebuzno. Winston, 
mentalmente, la llamo «la nota amarilla». 

Y la voz de la telepantalla cantaba: 


Bajo el Nogal de las ramas extendidas 
yo te vend! y tu me vendiste. 

AlU yacen ellos y aqui yacemos nosotros. 
Bajo el Nogal de las ramas extendidas. 


Los tres personajes no se movieron, pero cuando 
Winston volvio a mirar la desvencijada cara de 
Rutherford, vio que estaba llorando. Por vez 
primera observo, con sobresalto, pero sin saber por 
que se impresionaba, que tanto Aaronson como 
Rutherford tenlan partidas las narices. 

Un poco despues, los tres fueron detenidos de 
nuevo. Por lo visto, se hablan comprometido en 
nuevas conspiraciones en el mismo momento de 
ser puestos en libertad. En el segundo proceso 
confesaron otra vez sus antiguos crfmenes, con 
una sarta de nuevos delitos. Fueron ejecutados y 
su historia fue registrada en los libros de historia 
publicados por el Partido como ejemplo para la 
posteridad. Cinco anos despues de esto, en 1973, 



George Orwell 


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101 


pneumatic tube on to his desk when he came on a 
fragment of paper which had evidently been slipped 
in among the others and then forgotten. The instant 
he had flattened it out he saw its significance. It was 
a half-page tom out of The Times' of about ten 
years earlier — the top half of the page, so that it 
included the date — and it contained a photograph of 
the delegates at some Party function in New York. 
Prominent in the middle of the group were Jones, 
Aaronson, and Rutherford. There was no mistaking 
them, in any case their names were in the caption at 
the bottom. 


The point was that at both trials all three men had 
confessed that on that date they had been on 
Eurasian soil. They had flown from a secret airfield 
in Canada to a rendezvous somewhere in Siberia, 
and had conferred with members of the Eurasian 
General Staff, to whom they had betrayed important 
military secrets. The date had stuck in Winston's 
memory because it chanced to be midsummer day; 
but the whole story must be on record in countless 
other places as well. There was only one possible 
conclusion: the confessions were lies. 


Of course, this was not in itself a discovery. Even at 
that time Winston had not imagined that the people 
who were wiped out in the purges had actually 
committed the crimes that they were accused of. 
But this was concrete evidence; it was a fragment of 
the abolished past, like a fossil bone which turns up 
in the wrong stratum and destroys a geological 
theory. It was enough to blow the Party to atoms, if 
in some way it could have been published to the 
world and its significance made known. 


He had gone straight on working. As soon as he 
saw what the photograph was, and what it meant, he 
had covered it up with another sheet of paper. 
Luckily, when he unrolled it, it had been upside- 
down from the point of view of the telescreen. 


He took his scribbling pad on his knee and pushed 


Winston desenrollaba un dla unos documentos que 
le enviaban por el tubo automatico cuando 
descubrio un pedazo de papel que, evidentemente, 
se habla deslizado entre otros y habla sido 
olvidado. En seguida vio su importancia. Era 
media pagina de un Times de diez anos antes — la 
mitad superior de una pagina, de manera que 
inclula la fecha — y contenfa una fotografla de los 
delegados en una solemnidad del Partido en Nueva 
York. Sobresalfan en el centra del grupo Jones, 
Aaronson y Rutherford. Se les vela muy 
claramente, pero ademas sus nombres figuraban al 
pie. 

Lo cierto es que en ambos procesos los tres 
personajes confesaron que en aquella fecha se 
hallaban en suelo eurasiatico, que hablan ido en 
avion desde un aeradromo secreto en el Canada 
hasta Siberia, donde tenfan una misteriosa cita. 
All! se hablan puesto en relacion con miembros 
del Estado Mayor eurasiatico al que hablan 
entregado importantes secretos militares. La fecha 
se le habla grabado a Winston en la memoria 
porque coincidla con el primer dla de estlo, pero 
toda aquella historia estaba ya registrada 
oficialmente en innumerables sitios. Solo habla 
una conclusion posible: las confesiones eran 
mentira. 

Desde luego, esto no constitula en si mismo un 
descubrimiento. Incluso por aquella epoca no crela 
Winston que las vlctimas de las purgas hubieran 
cometido los crlmenes de que eran acusados. Pero 
ese pedazo de papel era ya una prueba concreta; 
un fragmento del pasado abolido como un hueso 
fosil que reaparece en un estrato donde no se le 
esperaba y destruye una teorla geologica. Bastaba 
con ello para pulverizar al Partido si pudiera 
publicarse en el extranjero. Y explicarse bien su 
significado. 

Winston habla seguido trabajando despues de su 
descubrimiento. En cuanto vio lo que era la 
fotografla y lo que significaba, la cubrio con otra 
hoja de papel. Afortunadamente, cuando la 
desenrollo habla quedado de tal modo que la 
telepantalla no podia verla. 

Se puso la carpeta sobre su rodilla y echo hacia 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


102 


back his chair so as to get as far away from the 
telescreen as possible. To keep your face 
expressionless was not difficult, and even your 
breathing could be controlled, with an effort: but 
you could not control the beating of your heart, and 
the telescreen was quite delicate enough to pick it 
up. He let what he judged to be ten minutes go by, 
tormented all the while by the fear that some 
accident — a sudden draught blowing across his 
desk, for instance — would betray him. Then, 
without uncovering it again, he dropped the 
photograph into the memory hole, along with some 
other waste papers. Within another minute, perhaps, 
it would have crumbled into ashes. 

That was ten-eleven years ago. Today, probably, he 
would have kept that photograph. It was curious 
that the fact of having held it in his fingers seemed 
to him to make a difference even now, when the 
photograph itself, as well as the event it recorded, 
was only memory. Was the Party's hold upon the 
past less strong, he wondered, because a piece of 
evidence which existed no longer HAD ONCE 
existed? 


But today, supposing that it could be somehow 
resurrected from its ashes, the photograph might not 
even be evidence. Already, at the time when he 
made his discovery, Oceania was no longer at war 
with Eurasia, and it must have been to the agents of 
Eastasia that the three dead men had betrayed their 
country. Since then there had been other changes- 
two, three, he could not remember how many. Very 
likely the confessions had been rewritten and 
rewritten until the original facts and dates no longer 
had the smallest significance. The past not only 
changed, but changed continuously. What most 
afflicted him with the sense of nightmare was that 
he had never clearly understood why the huge 
imposture was undertaken. The immediate 
advantages of falsifying the past were obvious, but 
the ultimate motive was mysterious. He took up his 
pen again and wrote: 


I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY. 


atras la silla para alejarse de la telepantalla lo mas 
posible. No era diffcil mantener inexpresivo la 
cara e incluso controlar, con un poco de esfuerzo, 
la respiracion; pero lo que no podia controlarse 
eran los latidos del corazon y la telepantalla los 
recogfa con toda exactitud. Winston dejo pasar 
diez minutos atormentado por el miedo de que 
algun accidente — por ejemplo, una subita 
corriente de aire lo traicionara. Luego, sin 
exponerla a la vista de la pantalla, tiro la fotograffa 
en el «agujero de la memoria» mezclandola con 
otros papeles inservibles. A1 cabo de un minuto, el 
documento serfa un poco de ceniza. 


Aquello habfa pasado hacfa diez u once anos. «De 
ocurrir ahora, penso Winston, me habrfa guardado 
la foto.» Era curio so que el hecho de haber tenido 
ese documento entre sus dedos le pareciera 
constituir una gran diferencia incluso ahora en que 
la fotograffa misma, y no solo el hecho registrado 
en ella, era solo recuerdo. <;,Sc aflojaba el dominio 
del Partido sobre el pasado se pregunto Winston 
— porque una prueba documental que ya no 
existfa hubiera existido una vez? 

Pero hoy, suponiendo que pudiera resucitar de sus 
cenizas, la foto no podfa servir de prueba. Ya en el 
tiempo en que el habfa hecho el descubrimiento, 
no estaba en guerra Oceania con Eurasia y los tres 
personajes suprimidos tenfan que haber 
traicionado su pals con los agentes de Asia 
oriental y no con los de Eurasia. Desde entonces 
hubo otros cambios, dos o tres, ya no podfa 
recordarlo. Probablemente, las confesiones habfan 
sido nuevamente escritas varias veces hasta que 
los hechos y las fechas originales perdieran todo 
significado. No es solo que el pasado cambiara, es 
que cambiaba continuamente. Lo que mas le 
producfa a Winston la sensacion de una pesadilla 
es que nunca habfa llegado a comprender 
claramente por que se emprendfa la inmensa 
impostura. Desde luego, eran evidentes las 
ventajas inmediatas de falsificar el pasado, pero la 
ultima razon era misteriosa. Volvio a coger la 
pluma y escribio: 

Comprendo COMO: no comprendo POR QUE. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


103 


He wondered, as he had many times wondered 
before, whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a 
lunatic was simply a minority of one. At one time it 
had been a sign of madness to believe that the earth 
goes round the sun; today, to believe that the past is 
unalterable. He might be ALONE in holding that 
belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the thought 
of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him: the 
horror was that he might also be wrong. 


He picked up the children's history book and looked 
at the portrait of Big Brother which formed its 
frontispiece. The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. 
It was as though some huge force were pressing 
down upon you — something that penetrated inside 
your skull, battering against your brain, frightening 
you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to 
deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the 
Party would announce that two and two made five, 
and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable 
that they should make that claim sooner or later: the 
logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the 
validity of experience, but the very existence of 
external reality, was tacitly denied by their 
philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common 
sense. And what was terrifying was not that they 
would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they 
might be right. For, after all, how do we know that 
two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity 
works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the 
past and the external world exist only in the mind, 
and if the mind itself is controllable what then? 


But no! His courage seemed suddenly to stiffen of 
its own accord. The face of O'Brien, not called up 
by any obvious association, had floated into his 
mind. He knew, with more certainty than before, 
that O'Brien was on his side. He was writing the 
diary for O'Brien — TO O'Brien: it was like an 
interminable letter which no one would ever read, 
but which was addressed to a particular person and 
took its colour from that fact. 

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your 
eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential 
command. His heart sank as he thought of the 
enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with 


Se pregunto, como ya lo habra hecho muchas 
veces, si no estarfa el loco. Quizas un loco era solo 
una «minorfa de uno». Hubo una epoca en que fue 
serial de locura creer que la tierra giraba en torno 
al sol: ahora, era locura creer que el pasado es 
inalterable. Quiza fuera el el unico que sostenra 
esa creencia, y, siendo el unico, estaba loco. Pero 
la idea de ser un loco no le afectaba mucho. Lo 
que le horrorizaba era la posibilidad de estar 
equivocado. 

Cogio el libro de texto infantil y miro el retrato del 
Gran Hermano que llenaba la portada. Los ojos 
hipnoticos se clavaron en los suyos. Era como si 
una inmensa fuerza empezara a aplastarle a uno, 
algo que iba penetrando en el craneo, golpeaba el 
cerebro por dentro, le aterrorizaba a uno y llegaba 
casi a persuadirle que era de noche cuando era de 
dra. Al final, el Partido anunciarra que dos y dos 
son cinco y habrra que creerlo. Era inevitable que 
llegara algun dra al dos y dos son cinco. La logica 
de su posicion lo exigra. Su filosofra negaba no 
solo la validez de la experiencia, sino que existiera 
la realidad externa. La mayor de las herejras era el 
sentido comun. Y lo mas terrible no era que le 
mataran a uno por pensar de otro modo, sino que 
pudieran tener razon. Porque, despues de todo, 
(,como sabemos que dos y dos son efectivamente 
cuatro? O que la fuerza de la gravedad existe. O 
que, el pasado no puede ser alterado. (Y si el 
pasado y el mundo exterior solo existen en nuestra 
mente y, siendo la mente controlable, tambien 
puede controlarse el pasado y lo que llamamos la 
realidad? 

[No, no!; a Winston le volvra el valor. El rostro de 
O'Brien, sin saber por que, empezo a flotarle en la 
memoria; sabra, con mas certeza que antes, que 
O'Brien estaba de su parte. Escribia este Diario 
para O'Brien; era como una carta interminable que 
nadie leerfa nunca, pero que se dirigra a una 
persona determinada y que dependra de este hecho 
en su forma y en su tono. 


El Partido os decra que negaseis la evidencia de 
vuestros ojos y ordos. Esta era su orden esencial. 
El corazon de Winston se encogio al pensar en el 
enorme poder que tenia enfrente, la facilidad con 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


104 


which any Party intellectual would overthrow him 
in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not 
be able to understand, much less answer. And yet 
he was in the right! They were wrong and he was 
right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to 
be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The 
solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones 
are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall 
towards the earth's centre. With the feeling that he 
was speaking to O'Brien, and also that he was 
setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: 

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two 
make four. If that is granted, all else follows. 


que cualquier intelectual del Partido lo vencerfa 
con su dialectica, los sutiles argumentos que el 
nunca podrfa entender y menos contestar. Y, sin 
embargo, era el, Winston, quien tenia razon. Los 
otros estaban equivocados y el no. Habia que 
defender lo evidente. El mundo solido existe y sus 
leyes no cambian. Las piedras son duras, el agua 
moja, los objetos faltos de apoyo caen en direccion 
al centra de la Tierra... Con la sensacion de que 
hablaba con O'Brien, y tambien de que anotaba un 
importante axioma, escribio: 

La libertad es poder decir libremente que dos y 
dos son cuatro. Si se concede esto, todo lo demds 
vendrd por sus pasos contados. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


105 


Chapter 8 


From somewhere at the bottom of a passage the 
smell of roasting coffee-real coffee, not Victory 
Coffee-came floating out into the street. Winston 
paused involuntarily. For perhaps two seconds he 
was back in the half-forgotten world of his 
childhood. Then a door banged, seeming to cut off 
the smell as abruptly as though it had been a sound. 


He had walked several kilometres over pavements, 
and his varicose ulcer was throbbing. This was the 
second time in three weeks that he had missed an 
evening at the Community Centre: a rash act, since 
you could be certain that the number of your 
attendances at the Centre was carefully checked. In 
principle a Party member had no spare time, and was 
never alone except in bed. It was assumed that when 
he was not working, eating, or sleeping he would be 
taking part in some kind of communal recreation: to 
do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even 
to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly 
dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: 
OWNLIFE, it was called, meaning individualism 
and eccentricity. But this evening as he came out of 
the Ministry the balminess of the April air had 
tempted him. The sky was a warmer blue than he 
had seen it that year, and suddenly the long, noisy 
evening at the Centre, the boring, exhausting games, 
the lectures, the creaking camaraderie oiled by gin, 
had seemed intolerable. On impulse he had turned 
away from the bus-stop and wandered off into the 
labyrinth of London, first south, then east, then north 
again, losing himself among unknown streets and 
hardly bothering in which direction he was going. 


'If there is hope,' he had written in the diary, 'it lies in 
the proles.' The words kept coming back to him, 
statement of a mystical truth and a palpable 
absurdity. He was somewhere in the vague, brown- 
coloured slums to the north and east of what had 
once been Saint Pancras Station. He was walking up 
a cobbled street of little two- storey houses with 
battered doorways which gave straight on the 
pavement and which were somehow curiously 


CAPITULO VIII 


Del fondo del pasillo llegaba un aroma a cafe 
tostado — cafe de verdad, no cafe de la Victoria — 
, un aroma penetrante. Winston se detuvo 
involuntariamente. Durante unos segundos volvio 
al mundo medio olvidado de su infancia. Entonces 
se oyo un portazo y el delicioso olor quedo cortado 
tan de repente como un sonido. 

Winston habia andado varios kilometros por las 
calles y se le habian irritado sus varices. Era la 
segunda vez en tres semanas que no habia llegado a 
tiempo a una reunion del Centro Comunal, lo cual 
era muy peligroso ya que el numero de asistencias 
al Centro era anotado cuidadosamente. En 
principio, un miembro del Partido no tenia tiempo 
libre y nunca estaba solo a no ser en la cama. Se 
suponia que, de no hallarse trabajando, comiendo, o 
durmiendo, estaria participando en algun recreo 
colectivo. Hacer algo que implicara una inclinacion 
a la soledad, aunque solo fuera dar un paseo, era 
siempre un poco peligroso. Habia una palabra para 
ello en neolengua: vida-propia, es decir, 

individualismo y excentricidad. Pero esa tarde, al 
salir del Ministerio, el aromatico aire abrileno le 
habia tentado. El cielo tenia un azul mas intenso 
que en todo el ano y de pronto le habia resultado 
intolerable a Winston la perspectiva del 
aburrimiento, de los juegos anotadores, de las 
conferencias, de la falsa camaraderfa lubricada por 
la ginebra... Sintio el impulso de marcharse de la 
parada del autobus y callejear por el laberinto de 
Londres, primero hacia el Sur, luego hacia el Este y 
otra vez hacia el Norte, perdiendose por calles 
desconocidas y sin preocuparse apenas por la 
direccion que tomaba. 

«Si hay esperanza — habrfa escrito en el Diario — , 
esta en los proles. » Estas palabras le volvian como 
afirmacion de una verdad mistica y de un absurdo 
palpable. Penetro por los suburbios del Norte y del 
Este alrededor de lo que en tiempos habia sido la 
estacion de San Pancracio. Marchaba por una calle 
empedrada, cuyas viejas casas solo tenian dos pisos 
y cuyas puertas abiertas descubrfan los sordidos 
interiores. De trecho en trecho habia charcos de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


106 


suggestive of ratholes. There were puddles of filthy 
water here and there among the cobbles. In and out 
of the dark doorways, and down narrow alley-ways 
that branched off on either side, people swarmed in 
astonishing numbers — girls in full bloom, with 
crudely lipsticked mouths, and youths who chased 
the girls, and swollen waddling women who showed 
you what the girls would be like in ten years' time, 
and old bent creatures shuffling along on splayed 
feet, and ragged barefooted children who played in 
the puddles and then scattered at angry yells from 
their mothers. Perhaps a quarter of the windows in 
the street were broken and boarded up. Most of the 
people paid no attention to Winston; a few eyed him 
with a sort of guarded curiosity. Two monstrous 
women with brick-red forearms folded across their 
aprons were talking outside a doorway. Winston 
caught scraps of conversation as he approached. 


'"Yes," I says to 'er, "that's all very well," I says. 
"But if you'd of been in my place you'd of done the 
same as what I done. It's easy to criticize," I says, 
"but you ain't got the same problems as what I got.'" 


'Ah,' said the other, 'that's jest it. That's jest where it 
is.' 


The strident voices stopped abruptly. The women 
studied him in hostile silence as he went past. But it 
was not hostility, exactly; merely a kind of wariness, 
a momentary stiffening, as at the passing of some 
unfamiliar animal. The blue overalls of the Party 
could not be a common sight in a street like this. 
Indeed, it was unwise to be seen in such places, 
unless you had definite business there. The patrols 
might stop you if you happened to run into them. 
'May I see your papers, comrade? What are you 
doing here? What time did you leave work? Is this 
your usual way home?' — and so on and so forth. 
Not that there was any rule against walking home by 
an unusual route: but it was enough to draw attention 
to you if the Thought Police heard about it. 


agua sucia por entre las piedras. Entraban y salfan 
en las casuchas y llenaban las callejuelas infinidad 
de personas: muchachas en la flor de la edad con 
bocas violentamente pintadas, muchachos que 
persegufan a las jovenes, y mujeres de cuerpos 
obesos y bamboleantes, vivas pruebas de lo que 
serfan las muchachas cuando tuvieran diez anos 
mas, ancianos que se movfan dificultosamente y 
ninos descalzos que jugaban en los charcos y salfan 
corriendo al ofr los irritados chillidos de sus 
madres. La cuarta parte de las ventanas de la calle 
estaban rotas y tapadas con cartones. La mayorfa de 
la gente no prestaba atencion a Winston. Algunos 
lo miraban con cauta curiosidad. Dos monstruosas 
mujeres de brazos rojizos cruzados sobre los 
delantales, hablaban en una de las puertas. Winston 
oyo algunos retazos de la conversacion. 


— Pues, sf, fui y le dije: «Todo eso esta muy bien, 
pero si hubieras estado en mi lugar hubieras hecho 
lo mismo que yo. Es muy sencillo eso de criticar — 
le dije, pero tu no tienes los mismos problemas que 
yo». 

— Claro — dijo la otra — , ahf esta la cosa. Cada 
uno sabe lo suyo. 

Estas voces estridentes se callaron de pronto. Las 
mujeres observaron a Winston con hostil silencio 
cuando paso ante ellas. Pero no era exactamente 
hostilidad sino una especie de alerta momentanea 
como cuando nos cruzamos con un animal 
desconocido. El «mono» azul del Partido no se vefa 
con frecuencia en una calle como esta. Desde 
luego, era muy poco prudente que lo vieran a uno 
en semej antes sitios a no ser que se tuviera algo 
muy concreto que hacer allf: Las patrullas le 
detenfan a uno en cuanto lo sorprendfan en una 
calle de proles y le preguntaban: «^Quieres 
ensenarme la documentacion camarada? ^Quc 
haces por aquf? que hora saliste del trabajo? 
^Tienes la costumbre de tomar este camino para ir 
a tu casa?, y asf sucesivamente. No es que hubiera 
una disposicion especial prohibiendo regresar a 
casa por un camino insolito, mas era lo suficiente 
para hacerse notar si la Policfa del Pensamiento lo 
descubrfa. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


107 


Suddenly the whole street was in commotion. There 
were yells of warning from all sides. People were 
shooting into the doorways like rabbits. A young 
woman leapt out of a doorway a little ahead of 
Winston, grabbed up a tiny child playing in a puddle, 
whipped her apron round it, and leapt back again, all 
in one movement. At the same instant a man in a 
concertina-like black suit, who had emerged from a 
side alley, ran towards Winston, pointing excitedly 
to the sky. 


'Steamer!' he yelled. 'Look out, guv'nor! Bang 
over'ead! Lay down quick!' 

'Steamer' was a nickname which, for some reason, 
the proles applied to rocket bombs. Winston 
promptly flung himself on his face. The proles were 
nearly always right when they gave you a warning of 
this kind. They seemed to possess some kind of 
instinct which told them several seconds in advance 
when a rocket was coming, although the rockets 
supposedly travelled faster than sound. Winston 
clasped his forearms above his head. There was a 
roar that seemed to make the pavement heave; a 
shower of light objects pattered on to his back. 
When he stood up he found that he was covered with 
fragments of glass from the nearest window. 


He walked on. The bomb had demolished a group of 
houses 200 metres up the street. A black plume of 
smoke hung in the sky, and below it a cloud of 
plaster dust in which a crowd was already forming 
around the ruins. There was a little pile of plaster 
lying on the pavement ahead of him, and in the 
middle of it he could see a bright red streak. When 
he got up to it he saw that it was a human hand 
severed at the wrist. Apart from the bloody stump, 
the hand was so completely whitened as to resemble 
a plaster cast. 


He kicked the thing into the gutter, and then, to 
avoid the crowd, turned down a side-street to the 


De pronto, toda la calle empezo a agitarse. Hubo 
gritos de aviso por todas partes. Hombres, mujeres 
y ninos se metlan veloces en sus casas como 
conejos. Una joven salio como una flecha por una 
puerta cerca de donde estaba Winston, cogio a un 
nino que jugaba en un charco, lo envolvio con el 
delantal y entro de nuevo en su casa; todo ello 
realizado con increfble rapidez. En el mismo 
instante, un hombre vestido de negro, que habla 
salido de una callejuela lateral, corrio hacia 
Winston senalandole nervioso el cielo. 

— ; El vapor! — grito — . Mire, maestro. jEchese 
pronto en el suelo ! 

«E1 vapor» era el apodo que, no se sabla por que, le 
hablan puesto los proles a las bombas cohetes. 
Winston se tiro al suelo rapidamente. Los proles 
llevaban casi siempre razon cuando daban una 
alarma de esta clase. Pareclan poseer una especie 
de instinto que les prevenfa con varios segundos de 
anticipacion de la llegada de un cohete, aunque se 
suponla que los cohetes volaban con mas rapidez 
que el sonido. Winston se protegio la cabeza con 
los brazos. Se oyo un rugido que hizo temblar el 
pavimento, una lluvia de pequenos objetos le cayo 
sobre la espalda. Cuando se levanto, se encontro 
cubierto con pedazos de cristal de la ventana mas 
proxima. 

Siguio andando. La bomba habla destruido un 
grupo de casas de aquella calle doscientos metros 
mas arriba. En el cielo flotaba una negra nube de 
humo y debajo otra nube, esta de polvo, envolvla 
las ruinas en torno a las cuales se agolpaba ya una 
multitud. Habla un pequeno monton de yeso en el 
pavimento delante de el y en medio se podia ver 
una brillante raya roja. Cuando se levanto y se 
acerco a ver que era vio que se trataba de una mano 
humana cortada por la muneca. Aparte del 
sangriento munon, la mano era tan blanca que 
parecla un molde de yeso. 

Le dio una patada y la echo a la cloaca, y para 
evitar la multitud, torcio por una calle lateral a la 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


108 


right. Within three or four minutes he was out of the 
area which the bomb had affected, and the sordid 
swarming life of the streets was going on as though 
nothing had happened. It was nearly twenty hours, 
and the drinking- shops which the proles frequented 
('pubs', they called them) were choked with 
customers. From their grimy swing doors, endlessly 
opening and shutting, there came forth a smell of 
urine, sawdust, and sour beer. In an angle formed by 
a projecting house-front three men were standing 
very close together, the middle one of them holding 
a folded-up newspaper which the other two were 
studying over his shoulder. Even before he was near 
enough to make out the expression on their faces, 
Winston could see absorption in every line of their 
bodies. It was obviously some serious piece of news 
that they were reading. He was a few paces away 
from them when suddenly the group broke up and 
two of the men were in violent altercation. For a 
moment they seemed almost on the point of blows. 


'Can't you bleeding well listen to what I say? I tell 
you no number ending in seven ain't won for over 
fourteen months!' 


'Yes, it 'as, then!' 


'No, it 'as not! Back 'ome I got the 'ole lot of 'em for 
over two years wrote down on a piece of paper. I 
takes 'em down reg'lar as the clock. An' I tell you, no 
number ending in seven — ' 

'Yes, a seven 'AS won! I could pretty near tell you 
the bleeding number. Four oh seven, it ended in. It 
were in February-second week in February.' 

'February your grandmother! I got it all down in 
black and white. An' I tell you, no number — ' 

'Oh, pack it in!' said the third man. 

They were talking about the Fottery. Winston looked 
back when he had gone thirty metres. They were still 


derecha. A los tres o cuatro minutos estaba fuera de 
la zona afectada por la bomba y la sordida vida del 
suburbio se habfa reanudado como si nada hubiera 
ocurrido. Eran casi las veinte y los establecimientos 
de bebida frecuentados por los proles (les llamaban, 
con una palabra antiqufsima, «tabemas») estaban 
llenas de clientes. De sus puertas oscilantes, que se 
abrfan y cerraban sin cesar, salfa un olor mezclado 
de orines, serrfn y cerveza. En un angulo formado 
por una casa de fachada saliente estaban reunidos 
tres hombres. El de en medio tenia en la mano un 
periodico doblado que los otros dos miraban por 
encima de sus hombros. Antes ya de acercarse lo 
suficiente para ver la expresion de sus caras, pudo 
deducir Winston, por la inmovilidad de sus 
cuerpos, que estaban absortos. Fo que lefan era 
seguramente algo de mucha importancia. Estaba a 
pocos pasos de ellos cuando de pronto se deshizo el 
grupo y dos de los hombres empezaron a discutir 
violentamente. Parecfa que estaban a punto de 
pegarse. 

— ^No puedes escuchar lo que te digo? Te aseguro 
que ningun numero terminado en siete ha ganado 
en estos catorce meses. 


— Te digo que sf. 

— No, no ha salido ninguno terminado en siete. En 
casa los tengo apuntados todos en un papel desde 
hace dos anos. Nunca dejo de copiar el numero. Y 
te digo que ningun numero ha terminado en siete... 

— Sf; un siete gano. Ademas, se que terminaba en 
cuatro, cero, siete. Fue en febrero... En la segunda 
semana de febrero. 


— Ni en febrero ni nada. Te digo que lo tengo 
apuntado. 

— Bueno, a ver si lo dejais — dijo el tercer hombre. 

Estaban hablando de la loterfa. Winston volvio la 
cabeza cuando ya estaba a treinta metros de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


109 


arguing, with vivid, passionate faces. The Lottery, 
with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the 
one public event to which the proles paid serious 
attention. It was probable that there were some 
millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the 
principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. 
It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their 
intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was 
concerned, even people who could barely read and 
write seemed capable of intricate calculations and 
staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe 
of men who made a living simply by selling systems, 
forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to 
do with the running of the Lottery, which was 
managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was 
aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that 
the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums 
were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes 
being non-existent persons. In the absence of any 
real intercommunication between one part of 
Oceania and another, this was not difficult to 
arrange. 


But if there was hope, it lay in the proles. You had to 
cling on to that. When you put it in words it sounded 
reasonable: it was when you looked at the human 
beings passing you on the pavement that it became 
an act of faith. The street into which he had turned 
ran downhill. He had a feeling that he had been in 
this neighbourhood before, and that there was a main 
thoroughfare not far away. From somewhere ahead 
there came a din of shouting voices. The street took 
a sharp turn and then ended in a flight of steps which 
led down into a sunken alley where a few stall- 
keepers were selling tired-looking vegetables. At this 
moment Winston remembered where he was. The 
alley led out into the main street, and down the next 
turning, not five minutes away, was the junk-shop 
where he had bought the blank book which was now 
his diary. And in a small stationer's shop not far 
away he had bought his penholder and his bottle of 
ink. 


He paused for a moment at the top of the steps. On 
the opposite side of the alley there was a dingy little 
pub whose windows appeared to be frosted over but 
in reality were merely coated with dust. A very old 


distancia. Todavla segulan discutiendo 
apasionadamente. La loterfa, que pagaba cada 
semana enormes premios, era el unico 
acontecimiento publico al que los proles concedlan 
una seria atencion. Probablemente, habla millones 
de proles para quienes la loterfa era la principal 
razon de su existencia. Era toda su delicia, su 
locura, su estimulante intelectual. En todo lo 
referente a la loterfa, hasta la gente que apenas 
sabla leer y escribir parecla capaz de intrincados 
calculos matematicos y de asombrosas proezas 
memorfsticas. Toda una tribu de proles se ganaba la 
vida vendiendo predicciones, amuletos, sistemas 
para dominar el azar y otras cosas que Servian a los 
maniaticos. Winston nada tenia que ver con la 
organizacion de la loterfa, dependiente del 

Ministerio de la Abundancia. Pero sabla 

perfectamente (como cualquier miembro del 

Partido) que los premios eran en su mayorla 
imaginarios. Solo se pagaban pequenas sumas y los 
ganadores de los grandes premios eran personas 
inexistentes. Como no habla verdadera 

comunicacion entre una y otra parte de Oceania, 
esto resultaba muy facil. 

Si habla esperanzas, estaba en los proles. Esta era 
la idea esencial. Decirlo, sonaba a cosa razonable, 
pero al mirar aquellos pobres seres humanos, se 
convertla en un acto de fe. La calle por la que 
descendla Winston, le desperta la sensacion de que 
ya antes habla estado por all! y que no hacla mucho 
tiempo fue una calle importante. Al final de ella 
habla una escalinata por donde se bajaba a otra 
calle en la que estaba un mercadillo de legumbres. 
Entonces recordo Winston donde estaba: en la 
primera esquina, a unos cinco minutos de marcha, 
estaba la tienda de compraventa donde el habla 
adquirido el libro en bianco donde ahora llevaba su 
Diario. Y en otra tienda no muy distante, habla 
comprado la pluma y el frasco de tinta. 


Se detuvo un momenta en lo alto de la escalinata. 
Al otro lado de la calle habla una sordida tabema 
cuyas ventanas pareclan cubiertas de escarcha; pero 
solo era polvo. Un hombre muy viejo con bigotes 



110 


George Orwell 

man, bent but active, with white moustaches that 
bristled forward like those of a prawn, pushed open 
the swing door and went in. As Winston stood 
watching, it occurred to him that the old man, who 
must be eighty at the least, had already been middle- 
aged when the Revolution happened. He and a few 
others like him were the last links that now existed 
with the vanished world of capitalism. In the Party 
itself there were not many people left whose ideas 
had been formed before the Revolution. The older 
generation had mostly been wiped out in the great 
purges of the fifties and sixties, and the few who 
survived had long ago been terrified into complete 
intellectual surrender. If there was any one still alive 
who could give you a truthful account of conditions 
in the early part of the century, it could only be a 
prole. Suddenly the passage from the history book 
that he had copied into his diary came back into 
Winston's mind, and a lunatic impulse took hold of 
him. He would go into the pub, he would scrape 
acquaintance with that old man and question him. He 
would say to him: 'Tell me about your life when you 
were a boy. What was it like in those days? Were 
things better than they are now, or were they worse?' 


Hurriedly, lest he should have time to become 
frightened, he descended the steps and crossed the 
narrow street. It was madness of course. As usual, 
there was no definite rule against talking to proles 
and frequenting their pubs, but it was far too unusual 
an action to pass unnoticed. If the patrols appeared 
he might plead an attack of faintness, but it was not 
likely that they would believe him. He pushed open 
the door, and a hideous cheesy smell of sour beer hit 
him in the face. As he entered the din of voices 
dropped to about half its volume. Behind his back he 
could feel everyone eyeing his blue overalls. A game 
of darts which was going on at the other end of the 
room interrupted itself for perhaps as much as thirty 
seconds. The old man whom he had followed was 
standing at the bar, having some kind of altercation 
with the barman, a large, stout, hook-nosed young 
man with enormous forearms. A knot of others, 
standing round with glasses in their hands, were 
watching the scene. 

'I arst you civil enough, didn't I?' said the old man, 
straightening his shoulders pugnaciously. 'You 
telling me you ain't got a pint mug in the 'ole 


19 8 4 

blancos, encorvado, pero bastante activo, empujo la 
puerta oscilante y entro. Mientras observaba desde 
alii, se le ocurrio a Winston que aquel viejo, que 
por lo menos debfa de tener ochenta anos, habria 
sido ya un hombre maduro cuando ocurrio la 
Revolucion. El y unos cuantos como el eran los 
ultimos eslabones que unfan al mundo actual con el 
mundo desaparecido del capitalismo. En el Partido 
no habfa mucha gente cuyas ideas se hubieran 
formado antes de la Revolucion. La generacion mas 
vieja habfa sido barrida casi por completo en las 
grandes purgas de los anos cincuenta y sesenta y 
los pocos que sobrevivieron vivfan aterrorizados y 
en una entrega intelectual absoluta. Si vivfa aun 
alguien que pudiera contar con veracidad las 
condiciones de vida en la primera mitad del siglo, 
tenia que ser un prole. De pronto recordo Winston 
el trozo del libro de historia que habfa copiado en 
su Diario y le asalto un impulso loco. Entrarfa en la 
taberna, trabarfa conocimiento con aquel viejo y le 
interrogarfa. Le dirfa: «Cuenteme su vida cuando 
era usted un muchacho, £se vivfa entonces mejor 
que ahora o peor? 


Precipitadamente, para no tener tiempo de 
asustarse, bajo la escalinata y cruzo la calle. Desde 
luego, era una locura. Como de costumbre, no 
habfa ninguna prohibition concreta de hablar con 
los proles y frecuentar sus tabernas, pero no podfa 
pasar inadvertido ya que era rarfsimo que alguien lo 
hiciera. Si aparecfa alguna patrulla, Winston podrfa 
decir que se habfa sentido mal, pero no lo iban a 
creer. Empujo la puerta y le dio en la cara un 
repugnante olor a queso y a cerveza agria. Al entrar 
el, las voces casi se apagaron. Todos los presentes 
le miraban su «mono» azul. Unos individuos que 
jugaban al bianco con unos dardos se 
interrumpieron durante medio minuto. El viejo al 
que el habfa seguido estaba acodado en el bar 
discutiendo con el barman, un joven corpulento de 
nariz ganchuda y enormes antebrazos. Otros 
clientes, con vasos en la mano, contemplaban la 
escena. 


— <i,Vas a decirme que no puedes servirme una 
pinta de cerveza? — decfa el viejo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


ill 


bleeding boozer?' 

'And what in hell's name IS a pint?' said the barman, 
leaning forward with the tips of his fingers on the 
counter. 


"Ark at 'im! Calls 'is self a barman and don't know 
what a pint is ! Why, a pint's the 'alf of a quart, and 
there's four quarts to the gallon. 

'Ave to teach you the A, B, C next.' 


'Never heard of 'em,' said the barman shortly. 'Litre 
and half litre — that's all we serve. There's the glasses 
on the shelf in front of you.' 


'I likes a pint,' persisted the old man. 'You could 'a 
drawed me off a pint easy enough. We didn't 'ave 
these bleeding litres when I was a young man.' 

'When you were a young man we were all living in 
the treetops,' said the barman, with a glance at the 
other customers. 


There was a shout of laughter, and the uneasiness 
caused by Winston's entry seemed to disappear. The 
old man's white- stubbled face had flushed pink. He 
turned away, muttering to himself, and bumped into 
Winston. Winston caught him gently by the arm. 

'May I offer you a drink?' he said. 

'You're a gent,' said the other, straightening his 
shoulders again. He appeared not to have noticed 
Winston's blue overalls. 'Pint!' he added aggressively 
to the barman. 'Pint of wallop.' 

The barman swished two half-litres of dark-brown 
beer into thick glasses which he had rinsed in a 
bucket under the counter. Beer was the only drink 
you could get in prole pubs. The proles were 
supposed not to drink gin, though in practice they 


— (W que demonios de nombre es ese de «pinta»? 
— pregunto el tabemero inclinandose sobre el 
mostrador con los dedos apoyados en el. 

— Escuchad, presume de tabemero y no sabe lo 
que es una pinta. A este hay que mandarle a la 
escuela. 


— Nunca he oldo hablar de pintas para beber. Aquf 
se sirve por litros, medios litros... Ahf enfrente 
tiene usted los vasos en ese estante para cada 
cantidad de llquido. 


— Cuando yo era joven — insistio el viejo — no 
bebiamos por litros ni por medios litros. 


— Cuando usted era joven nosotros vivfamos en las 
copas de los arboles — dijo el tabemero 
guinandoles el ojo a los otros clientes. 

Hubo una carcajada general y la intranquilidad 
causada por la llegada de Winston parecia haber 
desaparecido. El viejo enrojecio, se volvio para 
marcharse, refunfunando, y tropezo con Winston. 
Winston lo cogio deferentemente por el brazo. 

— ^Me permite invitarle a beber algo? — dijo. 

— Usted es un caballero — dijo el otro, que parecia 
no haberse fijado en el «mono» azul de Winston — . 
jUna pinta, quiera usted o no quiera! — anadio 
agresivo dirigiendose al tabemero. 

Este lleno dos vasos de medio litro con cerveza 
negra. La cerveza era la unica bebida que se podia 
conseguir en los establecimientos de bebidas de los 
proles. Estos no estaban autorizados a beber 
cerveza aunque en la practica se la proporcionaban 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


112 


could get hold of it easily enough. The game of darts 
was in full swing again, and the knot of men at the 
bar had begun talking about lottery tickets. 
Winston's presence was forgotten for a moment. 
There was a deal table under the window where he 
and the old man could talk without fear of being 
overheard. It was horribly dangerous, but at any rate 
there was no telescreen in the room, a point he had 
made sure of as soon as he came in. 


"E could 'a drawed me off a pint,' grumbled the old 
man as he settled down behind a glass. 'A 'alf litre 
ain't enough. It don't satisfy. And a 'ole litre's too 
much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the 
price.' 

'You must have seen great changes since you were a 
young man,' said Winston tentatively. 


The old man's pale blue eyes moved from the darts 
board to the bar, and from the bar to the door of the 
Gents, as though it were in the bar-room that he 
expected the changes to have occurred. 


'The beer was better,' he said finally. 'And cheaper! 
When I was a young man, mild beer-wallop we used 
to call it — was fourpence a pint. That was before the 
war, of course.' 


'Which war was that?' said Winston. 


'It's all wars,' said the old man vaguely. He took up 
his glass, and his shoulders straightened again. "Ere's 
wishing you the very best of 'ealth ! ' 


In his lean throat the sharp-pointed Adam's apple 
made a surprisingly rapid up-and-down movement, 
and the beer vanished. Winston went to the bar and 
came back with two more half-litres. The old man 
appeared to have forgotten his prejudice against 
drinking a full litre. 


con mucha facilidad. El tiro al bianco con dardos 
estaba otra vez en plena actividad y los hombres 
que bebfan en el mostrador discutfan sobre billetes 
de loterfa. Todos olvidaron durante unos momentos 
la presencia de Winston. Habfa una mesa debajo de 
una ventana donde el viejo y el podrfan hablar sin 
miedo a ser ofdos. Era terriblemente peligroso, pero 
no habfa telepantalla en la habitacion. De esto se 
habfa asegurado Winston en cuanto entro. 


— Debe usted de haber visto grandes cambios 
desde que era usted un muchacho empezo a 
explorar Winston. 

La palida mirada azul del viejo recorrio el local 
como si fuera allf donde los cambios habfan 
ocurrido. 


— La cerveza era mejor — dijo por ultimo — ; y 
mas barata. Cuando yo era un jovencito, la cerveza 
costaba cuatro peniques los tres cuartos. Eso era 
antes de la guerra, naturalmente. 

— <;,Quc guerra era esa? — pregunto Winston. 

— Siempre hay alguna guerra — dijo el anciano 
con vaguedad. Levanto el vaso y brindo. \A su 
salud, caballero! 


En su delgada garganta la nuez puntiaguda hizo un 
movimiento de sorprendente rapidez arriba y abajo 
y la cerveza desaparecio. Winston se acerco al 
mostrador y volvio con otros dos medios litros. 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


113 


'You are very much older than I am,' said Winston. 
'You must have been a grown man before I was 
bom. You can remember what it was like in the old 
days, before the Revolution. People of my age don't 
really know anything about those times. We can only 
read about them in books, and what it says in the 
books may not be true. I should like your opinion on 
that. The history books say that life before the 
Revolution was completely different from what it is 
now. There was the most terrible oppression, 
injustice, poverty worse than anything we can 
imagine. Here in London, the great mass of the 
people never had enough to eat from birth to death. 
Half of them hadn't even boots on their feet. They 
worked twelve hours a day, they left school at nine, 
they slept ten in a room. And at the same time there 
were a very few people, only a few thousands — the 
capitalists, they were called — who were rich and 
powerful. They owned everything that there was to 
own. They lived in great gorgeous houses with thirty 
servants, they rode about in motor-cars and four- 
horse carriages, they drank champagne, they wore 
top hats — ' 


The old man brightened suddenly. 


'Top 'ats !' he said. 'Funny you should mention 'em. 
The same thing come into my 'ead only yesterday, I 
dono why. I was jest thinking, I ain't seen a top 'at in 
years. Gom right out, they 'ave. The last time I wore 
one was at my sister-in-law's funeral. And that 
was — well, I couldn't give you the date, but it must'a 
been fifty years ago. Of course it was only 'ired for 
the occasion, you understand.' 


'It isn't very important about the top hats,' said 
Winston patiently. 'The point is, these capitalists — 
they and a few lawyers and priests and so forth who 
lived on them — were the lords of the earth. 
Everything existed for their benefit. You — the 
ordinary people, the workers — were their slaves. 
They could do what they liked with you. They could 
ship you off to Canada like cattle. They could sleep 
with your daughters if they chose. They could order 
you to be flogged with something called a cat-o'-nine 


— Usted es mucho mayor que yo — dijo 
Winston — . Cuando yo nacf serfa usted ya un 
hombre hecho y derecho. Usted puede recordar lo 
que pasaba en los tiempos anteriores a la 
Revolucion; en cambio, la gente de mi edad no 
sabe nada de esa epoca. Solo podemos leerlo en los 
libros, y lo que dicen los libros puede no ser 
verdad. Me gustana saber su opinion sobre esto. 
Los libros de historia dicen que la vida anterior a la 
Revolucion era por completo distinta de la de 
ahora. Habfa una opresion terrible, injusticias, 
pobreza... en fin, que no puede uno imaginar 
siquiera lo malo que era aquello. Aquf, en Londres, 
la gran masa de gente no tenia que comer desde que 
nacfan hasta que morfan. La mitad de aquellos 
desgraciados no tenfan zapatos que ponerse. 
Trabajaban doce horas al dfa, dejaban de estudiar a 
los nueve anos y en cada habitacion dorrman diez 
personas. Y a la vez habfa algunos individuos, muy 
pocos, solo unos cuantos miles en todo el mundo, 
los capitalistas, que eran ricos y poderosos. Eran 
duenos de todo. Vivian en casas enormes y 
suntuosas con treinta criados, solo se movfan en 
autos y coches de cuatro caballos, bebfan champan 
y llevaban sombrero de copa. 

El viejo se animo de pronto. 

— [Sombreros de copa! exclamo. Es curioso que 
los nombre usted. Ayer mismo pense en ellos no se 
por que. Me acorde de cuanto tiempo hace que no 
se ve un sombrero de copa. Han desaparecido por 
completo. La ultima vez que lleve uno fue en el 
entierro de mi cunada. Y aquello fue... pues por lo 
menos hace cincuenta anos, aunque la fecha exacta 
no puedo saberla. Claro, ya comprendera usted que 
lo alquile para aquella ocasion... 

— Lo de los sombreros de copa no tiene gran 
importancia — dijo Winston con paciencia — . Pero 
estos capitalistas — ellos, unos cuantos abogados y 
sacerdotes y los demas auxiliares que vivfan de 
ellos — eran los duenos de la tierra. Todo lo que 
existfa era para ellos. Ustedes, la gente corriente, 
los trabajadores, eran sus esclavos. Los capitalistas 
podfan hacer con ustedes lo que quisieran. Por 
ejemplo, mandarlos al Canada como ganado. Si se 
les antojaba, se podfan acostar con las hijas de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


114 


tails. You had to take your cap off when you passed 
them. Every capitalist went about with a gang of 
lackeys who — ' 


The old man brightened again. 

'Lackeys!' he said. 'Now there's a word I ain't 'eard 
since ever so long. Lackeys! That reg'lar takes me 
back, that does. I recollect — oh, donkey's years 
ago — I used to sometimes go to 'Yde Park of a 
Sunday afternoon to 'ear the blokes making 
speeches. Salvation Army, Roman Catholics, Jews, 
Indians — all sorts there was. And there was one 
bloke-well, I couldn't give you 'is name, but a real 
powerful speaker 'e was. 'E didn't 'alf give it 'em! 
"Lackeys!" 'e says, "lackeys of the bourgeoisie! 
LI un kies of the ruling class!" Parasites — that was 
another of them. And 'yenas-'e definitely called 'em 
'yenas. Of course 'e was referring to the Labour 
Party, you understand.' 


Winston had the feeling that they were talking at 
cross-purposes. 


'What I really wanted to know was this,' he said. 'Do 
you feel that you have more freedom now than you 
had in those days? Are you treated more like a 
human being? In the old days, the rich people, the 
people at the top — ' 

'The 'Ouse of Lords,' put in the old man 
reminiscently. 

'The House of Lords, if you like. What I am asking 
is, were these people able to treat you as an inferior, 
simply because they were rich and you were poor? Is 
it a fact, for instance, that you had to call them "Sir" 
and take off your cap when you passed them?' 


ustedes. Y cuando se enfadaban, los azotaban a 
ustedes con un latigo llamado el gato de nueve 
colas. Si se encontraban ustedes a un capitalista por 
la calle, tenfan que quitarse la gorra. Cada 
capitalista salfa acompanado por una pandilla de 
lacayos que... 


— [Lacayos! Ahf tiene usted una palabra que no he 
of do desde hace muchfsimos anos. [Lacayos! Eso 
me recuerda muchas cosas pasadas. Hara medio 
siglo aproximadamente, solfa pasear yo a veces por 
Hyde Park los domingos por la tarde para escuchar 
a unos tipos que pronunciaban discursos: Ejercito 
de salvacion, catolicos, judfos, indios... En fin, allf 
habfa de todo. Y uno de ellos..., no puedo recordar 
el nombre, pero era un orador de primera, no hacfa 
mas que gritar: «[Lacayos, lacayos de la burguesfa! 
[Esclavos de las clases dirigentes!». Y tambien le 
gustaba mucho llamarlos parasitos y a los otros les 
llamaba hienas. Sf, una palabra algo asf como 
hiena. Claro que se referfa al Partido Laborista, ya 
se hara usted cargo. 

Winston tenfa la sensacion de que cada uno de ellos 
estaba hablando por su cuenta. Debfa orientar un 
poco la conversacion: 

— Lo que yo quiero saber es si le parece a usted 
que hoy dfa tenemos mas libertad que en la epoca 
de usted. ^Le tratan a usted mas como un ser 
humano? En el pasado, los ricos, los que estaban en 
lo alto... 


— La Camara de los Lores — evoco el viejo. 


— Bueno, la Camara de los Lores. Le pregunto a 
usted si esa gente le trataba como a un inferior por 
el simple hecho de que ellos eran ricos y usted 
pobre. Por ejemplo, ^es cierto que tenfa usted que 
quitarse la gorra y llamarles «senor» cuando se los 
cruzaba usted por la calle? 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


115 


The old man appeared to think deeply. He drank off 
about a quarter of his beer before answering. 

'Yes,' he said. 'They liked you to touch your cap to 
'em. It showed respect, like. I didn't agree with it, 
myself, but I done it often enough. Had to, as you 
might say.' 


'And was it usual — I'm only quoting what I've read 
in history books — was it usual for these people and 
their servants to push you off the pavement into the 
gutter?' 


'One of 'em pushed me once,' said the old man. 'I 
recollect it as if it was yesterday. It was Boat Race 
night — terribly rowdy they used to get on Boat Race 
night — and I bumps into a young bloke on 
Shaftesbury Avenue. Quite a gent, 'e was — dress 
shirt, top 'at, black overcoat. 'E was kind of zig- 
zagging across the pavement, and I bumps into 'im 
accidental-like. 'E says, "Why can't you look where 
you're going?" 'e says. I say, "Ju think you've bought 
the bleeding pavement?" 'E says, "I'll twist your 
bloody 'ead off if you get fresh with me." I says, 
"You're drunk. I'll give you in charge in 'alf a 
minute," I says. An' if you'll believe me, 'e puts 'is 
'and on my chest and gives me a shove as pretty near 
sent me under the wheels of a bus. Well, I was 
young in them days, and I was going to 'ave fetched 
'im one, only — ' 


A sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The 
old man's memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of 
details. One could question him all day without 
getting any real information. The party histories 
might still be true, after a fashion: they might even 
be completely true. He made a last attempt. 


'Perhaps I have not made myself clear,' he said. 


El hombre reflexiono profundamente. Antes de 
contestar se bebio un cuarto de litro de cerveza. 


— SI — dijo por fin — . Les gustaba que uno se 
llevara la mano a la gorra. Era una serial de respeto. 
Yo no estaba conforme con eso, pero lo hacla 
muchas veces. No tenia mas remedio. 


— lY era habitual? — tenga usted en cuenta que 
estoy repitiendo lo que he leldo en nuestros libros 
de texto para las escuelas — , era habitual en 
aquella gente, en los capitalistas, empujarles a 
ustedes de la acera para tener libre el paso? 

— Uno me empujo una vez — dijo el anciano — . 
Lo recuerdo como si fuera ayer. Era un dla de 
regatas noctumas y en esas noches habla mucha 
gente grosera, y me tropece con un tipo joven y 
jactancioso en la avenida Shaftesbury. Era un 
caballero, iba vestido de etiqueta y con sombrero 
de copa. Verna haciendo zigzags por la acera y 
tropezo conmigo. Me dijo: «^Por que no mira usted 
por donde va?». Yo le dije: «jA ver si se ha creldo 
usted que ha comprado la acera !». Y va y me 
contesta: «Le voy a dar a usted para el pelo si se 
descara as! conmigo». Entonces yo le solte: «Usted 
esta borracho y, si quiero, acabo con usted en 
medio minuto». SI senor, eso le dije y no se si me 
creera usted, pero fue y me dio un empujon que 
casi me manda debajo de las ruedas de un autobus. 
Pero yo por entonces era joven y me dispuse a darle 
su merecido; sin embargo... 

Winston perdla la esperanza de que el viejo le 
dijera algo interesante. La memoria de aquel 
hombre no era mas que un monton de detalles. 
Aunque se pasara el dla interrogandole, nada 
sacarfa en claro. Segun sus «declaraciones», los 
libros de Historia publicados por el Partido podlan 
seguir siendo verdad, despues de todo; podlan ser 
incluso completamente verldicos. Hizo un ultimo 
intento. 


— Quizas no me he explicado bien. Lo que trato de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


116 


'What I'm trying to say is this. You have been alive a 
very long time; you lived half your life before the 
Revolution. In 1925, for instance, you were already 
grown up. Would you say from what you can 
remember, that life in 1925 was better than it is now, 
or worse? If you could choose, would you prefer to 
live then or now?' 


The old man looked meditatively at the darts board. 
He finished up his beer, more slowly than before. 
When he spoke it was with a tolerant philosophical 
air, as though the beer had mellowed him. 


'I know what you expect me to say,' he said. 'You 
expect me to say as I'd sooner be young again. Most 
people'd say they'd sooner be young, if you arst 'em. 
You got your 'ealth and strength when you're young. 
When you get to my time of life you ain't never well. 
I suffer something wicked from my feet, and my 
bladder's jest terrible. Six and seven times a night it 
'as me out of bed. On the other 'and, there's great 
advantages in being a old man. You ain't got the 
same worries. No truck with women, and that's a 
great thing. I ain't 'ad a woman for near on thirty 
year, if you'd credit it. Nor wanted to, what's more.' 


Winston sat back against the window-sill. It was no 
use going on. He was about to buy some more beer 
when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled 
rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the 
room. The extra half-litre was already working on 
him. Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his 
empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried 
him out into the street again. Within twenty years at 
the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, 
'Was life better before the Revolution than it is 
now?' would have ceased once and for all to be 
answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even 
now, since the few scattered survivors from the 
ancient world were incapable of comparing one age 
with another. They remembered a million useless 
things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost 
bicycle pump, the expression on a long-dead sister's 
face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy 
years ago: but all the relevant facts were outside the 
range of their vision. They were like the ant, which 
can see small objects but not large ones. And when 


decir es esto: usted ha vivido mucho tiempo; la 
mitad de su vida ha transcurrido antes de la 
Revolucion. En 1925, por ejemplo, era usted ya un 
hombre. ^Podria usted decir, por lo que recuerda de 
entonces, que la vida era en 1925 mejor que ahora 
o peor? Si tuviera usted que escoger, ^prefer in a 
usted vivir entonces o ahora? 


El anciano contemplo meditabundo a los que 
tiraban al bianco. Termino su cerveza con mas 
lentitud que la vez anterior y por ultimo hablo con 
un tono filosofico y tolerante como si la cerveza lo 
hubiera dulcificado. 


— Ya se lo que espera usted que le diga. Usted 
querrfa que le dijera que prefiero volver a ser joven. 
Muchos lo dicen porque en la juventud se tiene 
salud y fuerza. En cambio, a mis anos nunca se esta 
bien del todo. Tengo muchos achaques. He de 
levantarme seis y siete veces por la noche cuando 
me da el dolor. Por otra parte, esto de ser viejo 
tiene muchas ventajas. Por ejemplo, las mujeres no 
le preocupan a uno y eso es una gran ventaja. Yo 
hace treinta anos que no he estado con una mujer, 
no se si me creera usted. Pero lo mas grande es que 
no he tenido ganas. 

Winston se apoyo en el alfeizar de la ventana. Era 
inutil proseguir. Iba a pedir mas cerveza cuando el 
viejo se levanto de pronto y se dirigio renqueando 
hacia el urinario apestoso que estaba al fondo del 
local. Winston siguio unos minutos sentado 
contemplando su vaso vacio y, casi sin darse 
cuenta, se encontro otra vez en la calle. Dentro de 
veinte anos, a lo mas — penso — , la inmensa y 
sencilla pregunta «^Era la vida antes de la 
Revolucion mejor que ahora? » dejarfa de tener 
sentido por completo. Pero ya ahora era imposible 
contestarla, puesto que los escasos supervivientes 
del mundo antiguo eran incapaces de comparar una 
epoca con otra. Recordaban un millon de cosas 
insignificantes, una pelea con un, companero de 
trabajo, la busqueda de una bomba de bicicleta que 
hablan perdido, la expresion habitual de una 
hermana fallecida hacia muchos anos, los 
torbellinos de polvo que se formaron en una 
manana tormentosa hace setenta anos... pero todos 
los hechos trascendentales quedaban fuera del radio 



117 


George Orwell 

memory failed and written records were falsified — 
when that happened, the claim of the Party to have 
improved the conditions of human life had got to be 
accepted, because there did not exist, and never 
again could exist, any standard against which it 
could be tested. 


At this moment his train of thought stopped abruptly. 
He halted and looked up. He was in a narrow street, 
with a few dark little shops, interspersed among 
dwelling-houses. Immediately above his head there 
hung three discoloured metal balls which looked as 
if they had once been gilded. He seemed to know the 
place. Of course! He was standing outside the junk- 
shop where he had bought the diary. 


A twinge of fear went through him. It had been a 
sufficiently rash act to buy the book in the 
beginning, and he had sworn never to come near the 
place again. And yet the instant that he allowed his 
thoughts to wander, his feet had brought him back 
here of their own accord. It was precisely against 
suicidal impulses of this kind that he had hoped to 
guard himself by opening the diary. At the same 
time he noticed that although it was nearly twenty- 
one hours the shop was still open. With the feeling 
that he would be less conspicuous inside than 
hanging about on the pavement, he stepped through 
the doorway. If questioned, he could plausibly say 
that he was trying to buy razor blades. 


The proprietor had just lighted a hanging oil lamp 
which gave off an unclean but friendly smell. He 
was a man of perhaps sixty, frail and bowed, with a 
long, benevolent nose, and mild eyes distorted by 
thick spectacles. His hair was almost white, but his 
eyebrows were bushy and still black. His spectacles, 
his gentle, fussy movements, and the fact that he was 
wearing an aged jacket of black velvet, gave him a 
vague air of intellectuality, as though he had been 
some kind of literary man, orperhaps a musician. His 
voice was soft, as though faded, and his accent less 
debased than that of the majority of proles. 


19 8 4 

de su atencion. Eran como las hormigas, que 
pueden ver los objetos pequenos, pero no los 
grandes. Y cuando la memoria fallaba y los 
testimonies escritos eran falsificados, la: 
pretensiones del Partido de haber mejorado las 
condiciones de la vida humana tenfan que ser 
aceptadas necesariamente porque no existia ni 
volverfa nunca a existir un nivel de vida con el cual 
pudieran ser comparadas. 

En aquel momento el fluir de sus pensamientos se 
interrumpio de repente. Se detuvo y levanto la 
vista. Se halle ha en una calle estrecha con unas 
cuantas tiendecitas oscura salpicadas entre casas de 
vecinos. Exactamente encima de su cabeza pendian 
unas bolas de metal descoloridas que habian sido 
doradas. Conocia este sitio. Era la tienda donde 
habia comprado el Diario. Sintio miedo. 

Ya habia sido bastante, arriesgado comprar el libro 
y se habia jurado a si mismo no aparecer nunca mas 
por alii. Sin embargo, en cuanto permitio a sus 
pensamientos que corrieran en libertad, le habian 
traido sus pies a aquel mismo sitio. Precisamente, 
habia iniciado su Diario para librarse de impulsos 
suicidas como aquel. A1 mismo tiempo, noto que 
aunque eran las veintiuna seguia abierta la tienda. 
Creyendo que seria mas prudente estar oculto 
dentro de la tienda que a la vista de todos en medio 
de la calle, entro. Si le preguntaban podia decir que 
andaba buscando hojas de afeitar. 


El dueno acababa de encender una lampara de 
aceite que echaba un olor molesto, pero 
tranquilizador. Era un hombre de unos sesenta 
anos, de aspecto fragil, y un poco encorvado, con 
una nariz larga y simpatica y ojos de suave mirar a 
pesar de las gafas de gruesos cristales. Su cabello 
era casi bianco, pero las cejas, muy pobladas, se 
conservaban negras. Sus gafas, sus movimientos 
acompanados y el hecho de que llevaba una vieja 
chaqueta de terciopelo negro le daban un cierto aire 
intelectual como si hubiera sido un hombre de 
letras o quizas un musico. De voz suave, algo 
apagada, tenia un acento menos marcado que la 
mayorfa de los proles. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


118 


'I recognized you on the pavement,' he said 
immediately. 'You're the gentleman that bought the 
young lady's keepsake album. That was a beautiful 
bit of paper, that was. Cream-laid, it used to be 
called. There's been no paper like that made for — oh, 
I dare say fifty years.' He peered at Winston over the 
top of his spectacles. 'Is there anything special I can 
do for you? Or did you just want to look round?' 


'I was passing,' said Winston vaguely. 'I just looked 
in. I don't want anything in particular.' 


'It's just as well,' said the other, 'because I don't 
suppose I could have satisfied you.' He made an 
apologetic gesture with his softpalmed hand. 'You 
see how it is; an empty shop, you might say. 
Between you and me, the antique trade's just about 
finished. No demand any longer, and no stock either. 
Furniture, china, glass it's all been broken up by 
degrees. And of course the metal stuffs mostly been 
melted down. I haven't seen a brass candlestick in 
years.' 


The tiny interior of the shop was in fact 
uncomfortably full, but there was almost nothing in 
it of the slightest value. The floorspace was very 
restricted, because all round the walls were stacked 
innumerable dusty picture-frames. In the window 
there were trays of nuts and bolts, wom-out chisels, 
penknives with broken blades, tarnished watches that 
did not even pretend to be in going order, and other 
miscellaneous rubbish. Only on a small table in the 
comer was there a litter of odds and ends — 
lacquered snuffboxes, agate brooches, and the like — 
which looked as though they might include 
something interesting. As Winston wandered 
towards the table his eye was caught by a round, 
smooth thing that gleamed softly in the lamplight, 
and he picked it up. 


It was a heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat 


— Le reconoci a usted cuando estaba ahi fuera 
parado — dijo inmediatamente. Usted es el 
caballero que me compro aquel album para 
regalarselo, seguramente, a alguna senorita. Era de 
muy buen papel. «Papel crema» solfan llamarle. 
Por lo menos hace cincuenta anos que no se ha 
vuelto a fabricar un papel como ese — miro a 
Winston por encima de sus gafas. ^Piicdo servirle 
en algo especial? solo querfa usted echar un 
vistazo? 


— Pasaba por aqui — dijo Winston vagamente. He 
entrado a mirar estas cosas. No deseo nada 
concreto. 


— Me alegro — dijo el otro — porque no creo que 
pudiera haberle servido. — Hizo un gesto de 
disculpa con su fina mano derecha — . Ya ve usted; 
la tienda esta casi vacia. Entre nosotros, le dire que 
el negocio de antigiiedades esta casi agotado. Ni 
hay clientes ni disponemos de genero. Los 
muebles, los objetos de porcelana y de cristal... 
todo eso ha ido desapareciendo poco a poco, y los 
hierros artisticos y demas metales han sido 
fundidos casi en su totalidad. No he vuelto a ver un 
candelabro de bronce desde hace muchos anos. 


En efecto, el interior de la pequena tienda estaba 
atestado de objetos, pero casi ninguno de ellos tenia 
el mas pequeno valor. Habia muchos cuadros que 
cubrian por completo las paredes. En el escaparate 
se exhibian portaplumas rotos, cinceles mellados, 
relojes mohosos que no pretendian funcionar y 
otras baratijas. Solo en una mesita de un rincon 
habia algunas cosas de interes: cajitas de rape, 
broches de agata, etc. A1 acercarse Winston a esta 
mesa le sorprendio un objeto redondo y brillante 
que cogio para examinarlo. 


Era un trozo de cristal en forma de hemisferio. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


119 


on the other, making almost a hemisphere. There 
was a peculiar softness, as of rainwater, in both the 
colour and the texture of the glass. At the heart of it, 
magnified by the curved surface, there was a strange, 
pink, convoluted object that recalled a rose or a sea 
anemone. 


'What is it?' said Winston, fascinated. 


'That's coral, that is,' said the old man. 'It must have 
come from the Indian Ocean. They used to kind of 
embed it in the glass. That wasn't made less than a 
hundred years ago. More, by the look of it.' 


'It's a beautiful thing,' said Winston. 


'It is a beautiful thing,' said the other appreciatively. 
'But there's not many that'd say so nowadays.' He 
coughed. 'Now, if it so happened that you wanted to 
buy it, that'd cost you four dollars. I can remember 
when a thing like that would have fetched eight 
pounds, and eight pounds was — well, I can't work it 
out, but it was a lot of money. But who cares about 
genuine antiques nowadays — even the few that's 
left?' 


Winston immediately paid over the four dollars and 
slid the coveted thing into his pocket. What appealed 
to him about it was not so much its beauty as the air 
it seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite 
different from the present one. The soft, rainwatery 
glass was not like any glass that he had ever seen. 
The thing was doubly attractive because of its 
apparent uselessness, though he could guess that it 
must once have been intended as a paperweight. It 
was very heavy in his pocket, but fortunately it did 
not make much of a bulge. It was a queer thing, even 
a compromising thing, for a Party member to have in 
his possession. Anything old, and for that matter 
anything beautiful, was always vaguely suspect. The 
old man had grown noticeably more cheerful after 
receiving the four dollars. Winston realized that he 
would have accepted three or even two. 


Tenia una suavidad muy especial, tanto por su 
color como por la calidad del cristal. En su centra, 
aumentado por la superficie curvada, se veia un 
objeto extrano que recordaba a una rasa o una 
anemona. 


— ^Que es esto? — dijo Winston, fascinado. 

— Eso es coral — dijo el hombre — . Creo que 
precede del Oceano Indico. Solian engarzarlo 
dentro de una cubierta de cristal. Por lo menos hace 
un siglo que lo hicieron. Seguramente mas, a juzgar 
por su aspecto. 

— Es de una gran belleza — dijo Winston. 

— De una gran belleza, si, senor — repitio el otro 
con tono de entendido — . Pero hoy dia no hay 
muchas personas que lo sepan reconocer — 
carraspeo — . Si usted quisiera comprarlo, le 
costana cuatro dolares. Recuerdo el tiempo en que 
una cosa como esta costaba ocho libras, y ocho 
libras representaban... en fin, no se exactamente 
cuanto; desde luego, muchisimo dinero. Pero 
^quien se preocupa hoy por las antigiiedades 
autenticas, por las pocas que han quedado? 


Winston pago inmediatamente los cuatro dolares y 
se guardo el codiciado objeto en el bolsillo. Lo que 
le atraia de el no era tanto su belleza como el aire 
que tenia de pertenecer a una epoca completamente 
distinta de la actual. Aquel cristal no se parecia a 
ninguno de los que el habia visto. Era de una 
suavidad extraordinaria, con reflejos acuosos. Era 
el coral doblemente atractivo por su aparente 
inutilidad, aunque Winston penso que en tiempos lo 
habian utilizado como pisapapeles. Pesaba mucho, 
pero afortunadamente, no le abultaba demasiado en 
el bolsillo. Para un miembro del Partido era 
comprometedor llevar una cosa como aquella. 
Todo lo antiguo, y mucho mas lo que tuviera 
alguna belleza, resultaba vagamente sospechoso. El 
dueno de la tienda parecio alegrarse mucho de 
cobrar los cuatro dolares. Winston comprendio que 
se habria contentado con tres e incluso con dos. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


120 


'There's another room upstairs that you might care to 
take a look at,' he said. 'There's not much in it. Just a 
few pieces. We'll do with a light if we're going 
upstairs.' 

He lit another lamp, and, with bowed back, led the 
way slowly up the steep and worn stairs and along a 
tiny passage, into a room which did not give on the 
street but looked out on a cobbled yard and a forest 
of chimney-pots. Winston noticed that the furniture 
was still arranged as though the room were meant to 
be lived in. There was a strip of carpet on the floor, a 
picture or two on the walls, and a deep, slatternly 
arm-chair drawn up to the fireplace. An old- 
fashioned glass clock with a twelve-hour face was 
ticking away on the mantelpiece. Under the window, 
and occupying nearly a quarter of the room, was an 
enormous bed with the mattress still on it. 


'We lived here till my wife died,' said the old man 
half apologetically. 'I'm selling the furniture off by 
little and little. Now that's a beautiful mahogany bed, 
or at least it would be if you could get the bugs out 
of it. But I dare say you'd find it a little bit 
cumbersome.' 


He was holding the lamp high up, so as to illuminate 
the whole room, and in the warm dim light the place 
looked curiously inviting. The thought flitted 
through Winston's mind that it would probably be 
quite easy to rent the room for a few dollars a week, 
if he dared to take the risk. It was a wild, impossible 
notion, to be abandoned as soon as thought of; but 
the room had awakened in him a sort of nostalgia, a 
sort of ancestral memory. It seemed to him that he 
knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room l ik e 
this, in an arm-chair beside an open fire with your 
feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob; utterly 
alone, utterly secure, with nobody watching you, no 
voice pursuing you, no sound except the singing of 
the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock. 


'There's no telescreen!' he could not help murmuring. 


— Arriba tengo otra habitacion que quizas le 
interesara a usted ver — le propuso — . No hay 
gran cosa en ella, pero tengo dos o tres piezas... 
Llevaremos una luz. 


Encendio otra lampara y agachandose subio 
lentamente por la empinada escalera, de peldanos 
medio rotos. Luego entraron por un pasillo estrecho 
siguiendo hasta una habitacion que no daba a la 
calle, sino a un patio y a un bosque de chimeneas. 
Winston noto que los muebles estaban dispuestos 
como si fuera a vivir alguien en el cuarto. Habfa 
una alfombra en el suelo, un cuadro o dos en las 
paredes, y un sillon junto a la chimenea. Un 
antiguo reloj de cristal, en cuya esfera figuraban las 
doce horas, estilo antiguo, emitfa su tic-tac desde la 
repisa de la chimenea. Bajo la ventana y ocupando 
casi la cuarta parte de la estancia habfa una enorme 
cama con el colchon descubierto. 


— Aquf vivfamos hasta que murio mi mujer — dijo 
el vendedor disculpandose. Voy vendiendo los 
muebles poco a poco. Esa es una preciosa cama de 
caoba. Lo malo son las chinches. Si hubiera manera 
de acabar con ellas... 


Sostenfa la lampara lo mas alto posible para 
iluminar toda la habitacion y a su debil luz 
resultaba aquel sitio muy acogedor. A Winston se 
le ocurrio pensar que serfa muy facil alquilar este 
cuarto por unos cuantos dolares a la semana si se 
decidiera a corner el riesgo. Era una idea 
descabellada, desde luego, pero el dormitorio habfa 
despertado en el una especie de nostalgia, un 
recuerdo ancestral. Le parecfa saber exactamente lo 
que se experimentaba al reposar en una habitacion 
como aquella, hundido en un butacon junto al 
fuego de la chimenea mientras se calentaba la tetera 
en las brasas. Allf solo, completamente seguro, sin 
nadie mas que le vigilara a uno, sin voces que le 
persiguieran ni mas sonido que el murmullo de la 
tetera y el amable tic-tac del reloj. 

— [No hay telepantalla! — se le escapo en voz 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


121 


'Ah,' said the old man, 'I never had one of those 
things. Too expensive. And I never seemed to feel 
the need of it, somehow. Now that's a nice gateleg 
table in the corner there. Though of course you'd 
have to put new hinges on it if you wanted to use the 
flaps.' 


There was a small bookcase in the other comer, and 
Winston had already gravitated towards it. It 
contained nothing but rubbish. The hunting-down 
and destruction of books had been done with the 
same thoroughness in the prole quarters as 
everywhere else. It was very unlikely that there 
existed anywhere in Oceania a copy of a book 
printed earlier than 1960. The old man, still carrying 
the lamp, was standing in front of a picture in a 
rosewood frame which hung on the other side of the 
fireplace, opposite the bed. 


'Now, if you happen to be interested in old prints at 
all — ' he began delicately. 


Winston came across to examine the picture. It was a 
steel engraving of an oval building with rectangular 
windows, and a small tower in front. There was a 
railing running round the building, and at the rear 
end there was what appeared to be a statue. Winston 
gazed at it for some moments. It seemed vaguely 
familiar, though he did not remember the statue. 


'The frame's fixed to the wall,' said the old man, 'but 
I could unscrew it for you, I dare say.' 


'I know that building,' said Winston finally. 'It's a 
ruin now. It's in the middle of the street outside the 
Palace of Justice.' 


'That's right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed 
in — oh, many years ago. It was a church at one time, 
St Clement Danes, its name was.' He smiled 
apologetically, as though conscious of saying 


baja. 

— Ah — dijo el hombre. Nunca he tenido esas 
cosas. Son demasiado caras. Ademas no veo la 
necesidad... Fijese en esa mesita de aquella 
esquina. Aunque, naturalmente, tendrfa usted que 
poner nuevos goznes si quisiera utilizar las alas. 


En otro rincon habia una pequena librerfa. Winston 
se apresuro a examinarla. No habia ningun libro 
interesante en ella. La caza y destruccion de libros 
se habia realizado de un modo tan completo en los 
barrios proles como en las casas del Partido y en 
todas partes. Era casi imposible que existiera en 
toda Oceania un ejemplar de un libro impreso antes 
de 1960. El vendedor, sin dejar la lampara, se habia 
detenido ante un cuadrito enmarcado en palo rosa, 
colgado al otro lado de la chimenea, frente a la 
cama. 


— Si le interesan a usted los grabados antiguos... 

— propuso delicadamente. 


Winston se acerco para examinar el cuadro. Era un 
grabado en acero de un edificio ovalado con 
ventanas rectangulares y una pequena torre en la 
fachada. En torno al edificio corrfa una verja y al 
fondo se vela una estatua. Winston la contemplo 
unos momentos. Le parecia algo familiar, pero no 
podia recordar la estatua. 


— El marco esta clavado en la pared — dijo el otro 
— , pero podria destornillarlo si usted lo quiere. 


— Conozco ese edificio — dijo Winston por fin — . 
Esta ahora en ruinas, cerca del Palacio de Justicia. 


— Exactamente. Fue bombardeado hace muchos 
anos. En tiempos fue una iglesia. Creo que la 
llamaban San Clemente. — Sonrio como 
disculpandose por haber dicho algo ridiculo y 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


122 


something slightly ridiculous, and added: 'Oranges 
and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's!' 


'What's that?' said Winston. 


'Oh — "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St 
Clement's." That was a rhyme we had when I was a 
little boy. How it goes on I don't remember, but I do 
know it ended up, "Here comes a candle to light you 
to bed. Here comes a chopper to chop off your 
head." It was a kind of a dance. They held out their 
arms for you to pass under, and when they came to 
"Here comes a chopper to chop off your head" they 
brought their arms down and caught you. It was just 
names of churches. All the London churches were in 
it — all the principal ones, that is.' 


Winston wondered vaguely to what century the 
church belonged. It was always difficult to 
determine the age of a London building. Anything 
large and impressive, if it was reasonably new in 
appearance, was automatically claimed as having 
been built since the Revolution, while anything that 
was obviously of earlier date was ascribed to some 
dim period called the Middle Ages. The centuries of 
capitalism were held to have produced nothing of 
any value. One could not learn history from 
architecture any more than one could learn it from 
books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the 
names of streets — anything that might throw light 
upon the past had been systematically altered. 


'I never knew it had been a church,' he said. 


'There's a lot of them left, really,' said the old man, 
'though they've been put to other uses. Now, how did 
that rhyme go? Ah! I've got it! 

"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, 
You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St 
Martin's — " 


anadio — . «Naranjas y limones, dicen las 

campanas de San Clemente». 

— ^Como? — dijo Winston. 

— Es de unos versos que yo sabfa de pequeno. 

Empezaban: «Naranjas y limones, dicen las 

campanas de San Clemente». Ya no recuerdo como 
sigue. Pero sf me acuerdo de la terminacion: «Aquf 
tienes una vela para alumbrarte cuando te vayas a 
acostar. Aquf tienes un hacha para cortarte la 
cabeza». Era una especie de danza. Unos tendfan 
los brazos y otros pasaban por debajo y cuando 
llegaban a aquello de «He aquf el hacha para 
cortarte la cabeza», bajaban los brazos y le cogfan a 
uno. La cancion estaba formada por los nombres de 
varias iglesias, de todas las principals que habfa en 
Londres. 


Winston se pregunto a que siglo pertenecerfan las 
iglesias. Siempre era diffcil determinar la edad de 
un edificio de Londres. Cualquier construccion de 
gran tamano e impresionante aspecto, con tal de 
que no se estuviera derrumbando de puro vieja, se 
decfa automatic amente que habfa sido construida 
despues de la Revolucion, mientras que todo lo 
anterior se adscribfa a un oscuro perfodo llamado la 
Edad Media. Los siglos de capitalismo no habfan 
producido nada de valor. Era imposible aprender 
historia a traves de los monumentos y de la 
arquitectura. Las estatuas, inscripciones, lapidas, 
los nombres de las calles, todo lo que pudiera 
arrojar alguna luz sobre el pasado, habfa sido 
alterado sistematicamente. 


— No sabfa que habfa sido una iglesia — dijo 
Winston. 


— En realidad, hay todavfa muchas de ellas aunque 
se han dedicado a otros fines — le aclaro el dueno 
de la tienda — . Ahora recuerdo otro verso: 


Narcmjas y limones, dicen las campanas de San 
Clemente, me debes tres peniques, dicen las 
campanas de San Martin. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


123 


there, now, that's as far as I can get. A farthing, that 
was a small copper coin, looked something like a 
cent.' 


'Where was St Martin's?' said Winston. 


'St Martin's? That's still standing. It's in Victory 
Square, alongside the picture gallery. A building 
with a kind of a triangular porch and pillars in front, 
and a big flight of steps.' 


Winston knew the place well. It was a museum used 
for propaganda displays of various kinds — scale 
models of rocket bombs and Floating Fortresses, 
waxwork tableaux illustrating enemy atrocities, and 
the like. 


'St Martin's-in-the-Fields it used to be called,' 
supplemented the old man, 'though I don't recollect 
any fields anywhere in those parts.' 

Winston did not buy the picture. It would have been 
an even more incongruous possession than the glass 
paperweight, and impossible to carry home, unless it 
were taken out of its frame. But he lingered for some 
minutes more, talking to the old man, whose name, 
he discovered, was not Weeks — as one might have 
gathered from the inscription over the shop-front — 
but Charrington. Mr Charrington, it seemed, was a 
widower aged sixty-three and had inhabited this 
shop for thirty years. Throughout that time he had 
been intending to alter the name over the window, 
but had never quite got to the point of doing it. All 
the while that they were talking the half-remembered 
rhyme kept running through Winston's head. 
Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clement's, 
You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St 
Martin's! It was curious, but when you said it to 
yourself you had the illusion of actually hearing 
bells, the bells of a lost London that still existed 
somewhere or other, disguised and forgotten. From 
one ghostly steeple after another he seemed to hear 
them pealing forth. Yet so far as he could remember 


No puedo recordar mas versos. 


— (-Donde estaba San Martin? — dijo Winston. 

— <;San Martin? Esta todavia en pie. Si, en la Plaza 
de la Victoria, junto al Museo de Pinturas. Es una 
especie de porche triangular con columnas y 
grandes escalinatas. 


Winston conocia bien aquel lugar. El edificio se 
usaba para propaganda de varias clases: 
exposiciones de maquetas de bombas cohete y de 
fortalezas volantes, grupos de figuras de cera que 
ilustraban las atrocidades del enemigo y cosas por 
el estilo. 


— San Martin de los Campos, como le llamaban — 
aclaro el otro — , aunque no recuerdo que hubiera 
campos por esa parte. 

Winston no compro el cuadro. Hubiera sido una 
posesion aun mas incongruente que el pisapapeles 
de cristal e imposible de llevar a casa a no ser que 
le hubiera quitado el marco. Pero se quedo unos 
minutos mas hablando con el dueno, cuyo nombre 
no era Weeks — como el habia supuesto por el 
rotulo de la tienda — , sino Charrington. El senor 
Charrington era viudo, tenia sesenta y tres anos y 
habia habitado en la tienda desde hacia treinta. En 
todo este tiempo habia pensado cambiar el nombre 
que figuraba en el rotulo, pero nunca habia llegado 
a convencerse de la necesidad de hacerlo. Durante 
toda su conversacion, la cancion medio recordada 
le zumbaba a Winston en la cabeza. Naranjas y 
limones, dicen las campanas de San Clemente, me 
debes tres peniques, dicen las campanas de San 
Martin. Era curioso que al repetirse esos versos 
tuviera la sensacion de estar oyendo campanas, las 
campanas de un Londres desaparecido o que existia 
en alguna parte. Winston, sin embargo, no 
recordaba haber oido campanas en su vida. 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


124 


he had never in real life heard church bells ringing. 

He got away from Mr Charrington and went down 
the stairs alone, so as not to let the old man see him 
reconnoitring the street before stepping out of the 
door. He had already made up his mind that after a 
suitable interval — a month, say — he would take the 
risk of visiting the shop again. It was perhaps not 
more dangerous than shirking an evening at the 
Centre. The serious piece of folly had been to come 
back here in the first place, after buying the diary 
and without knowing whether the proprietor of the 
shop could be trusted. However — ! 

Yes, he thought again, he would come back. He 
would buy further scraps of beautiful rubbish. He 
would buy the engraving of St Clement Danes, take 
it out of its frame, and carry it home concealed under 
the jacket of his overalls. He would drag the rest of 
that poem out of Mr Charrington's memory. Even 
the lunatic project of renting the room upstairs 
flashed momentarily through his mind again. For 
perhaps five seconds exaltation made him careless, 
and he stepped out on to the pavement without so 
much as a preliminary glance through the window. 
He had even started humming to an improvised tune 


Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, 
You owe me three farthings, say the — 


Suddenly his heart seemed to turn to ice and his 
bowels to water. A figure in blue overalls was 
coming down the pavement, not ten metres away. It 
was the girl from the Fiction Department, the girl 
with dark hair. The light was failing, but there was 
no difficulty in recognizing her. She looked him 
straight in the face, then walked quickly on as 
though she had not seen him. 


For a few seconds Winston was too paralysed to 
move. Then he turned to the right and walked 
heavily away, not noticing for the moment that he 
was going in the wrong direction. At any rate, one 
question was settled. There was no doubting any 
longer that the girl was spying on him. She must 
have followed him here, because it was not credible 


Salio de la tienda del senor Charrington. Se habia 
adelantado a el desde el piso de arriba. No querra 
que lo acompanase hasta la puerta para que no se 
diera cuenta de que reconocra la calle por si habia 
alguien. En efecto, habia decidido volver a visitar 
la tienda cuando pasara un tiempo prudencial; por 
ejemplo, un mes. Despues de todo, esto no era mas 
peligroso que faltar una tarde al Centro. Fo mas 
arriesgado habia sido volver despues de comprar el 
Diario sin saber si el dueno de la tienda era de fiar. 
Sin embargo... 

Si, penso otra vez, volverra. Comprarra mas objetos 
antiguos y bellos. Comprarra el grabado de San 
Clemente y se lo llevaria a casa sin el marco 
escondiendolo debajo del «mono». Fe haria 
recordar al senor Charrington el resto de aquel 
poema. Incluso el desatinado proyecto de alquilar 
la habitacion del primer piso, le tento de nuevo. 
Durante unos cinco segundos, su exaltacion le hizo 
imprudente y salio a la calle sin asegurarse antes 
por el escaparate de que no pasaba nadie. Incluso 
empezo a tararear con musica improvisada. 


Naranjas y limones, dicen las campanas de San 
Clemente, me debes tres peniques, dicen las... 

De pronto parecio helarsele el corazon y 
derretrrsele las entranas. Una figura en «mono» 
azul avanzaba hacia el a unos diez metros de 
distancia. Era la muchacha del Departamento de 
Novela, la joven del cabello negro. Anochecra, pero 
podia reconocerla facilmente. Ella lo miro 
directamente a la cara y luego apresuro el paso y 
paso junto a el como si no lo hubiera visto. 

Durante unos cuantos segundos, Winston quedo 
paralizado. Fuego torcio a la derecha y anduvo sin 
notar que iba en direccion equivocada. De todos 
modos, era evidente que la joven lo espiaba. Tenia 
que haberro seguido hasta alii, pues no podia 
creerse que por pura casualidad hubiera estado 
paseando en la misma tarde por la misma callejuela 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


125 


that by pure chance she should have happened to be 
walking on the same evening up the same obscure 
backstreet, kilometres distant from any quarter 
where Party members lived. It was too great a 
coincidence. Whether she was really an agent of the 
Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy actuated 
by officiousness, hardly mattered. It was enough that 
she was watching him. Probably she had seen him 
go into the pub as well. 

It was an effort to walk. The lump of glass in his 
pocket banged against his thigh at each step, and he 
was half minded to take it out and throw it away. 
The worst thing was the pain in his belly. For a 
couple of minutes he had the feeling that he would 
die if he did not reach a lavatory soon. But there 
would be no public lavatories in a quarter like this. 
Then the spasm passed, leaving a dull ache behind. 


The street was a blind alley. Winston halted, stood 
for several seconds wondering vaguely what to do, 
then turned round and began to retrace his steps. As 
he turned it occurred to him that the girl had only 
passed him three minutes ago and that by running he 
could probably catch up with her. He could keep on 
her track till they were in some quiet place, and then 
smash her skull in with a cobblestone. The piece of 
glass in his pocket would be heavy enough for the 
job. But he abandoned the idea immediately, because 
even the thought of making any physical effort was 
unbearable. He could not run, he could not strike a 
blow. Besides, she was young and lusty and would 
defend herself. He thought also of hurrying to the 
Community Centre and staying there till the place 
closed, so as to establish a partial alibi for the 
evening. But that too was impossible. A deadly 
lassitude had taken hold of him. All he wanted was 
to get home quickly and then sit down and be quiet. 


It was after twenty-two hours when he got back to 
the flat. The lights would be switched off at the main 
at twenty-three thirty. He went into the kitchen and 
swallowed nearly a teacupful of Victory Gin. Then 
he went to the table in the alcove, sat down, and took 
the diary out of the drawer. But he did not open it at 
once. From the telescreen a brassy female voice was 
squalling a patriotic song. He sat staring at the 


oscura a varios kilometros de distancia de todos los 
barrios habitados por los miembros del Partido. Era 
una coincidencia demasiado grande. Que fuera una 
agente de la Policla del Pensamiento o solo una 
espla aficionada que actuase por oficiosidad, poco 
importaba. Bastaba con que estuviera viendolo. 
Probablemente, lo habla visto tambien en la 
taberna. 


Le costaba gran trabajo andar. El pisapapeles de 
cristal que llevaba en el bolsillo le golpeaba el 
muslo a cada paso y estuvo tentado de arrojarlo 
muy lejos. Lo peor era que le dolfa el vientre. Por 
unos instantes tuvo la seguridad de que se morirfa 
si no encontraba en seguida un retrete publico, Pero 
en un barrio como aquel no habla tales 
comodidades. Afortunadamente, se le pasaron esas 
angustias quedandole solo un sordo dolor. 

La calle no tenia salida. Winston se detuvo, 
preguntandose que harfa. Mas hizo lo unico que le 
era posible, volver a recorreria hasta la salida. Solo 
hacla tres minutos que la joven se habla cruzado 
con el, y si corrfa, podrla alcanzarla. Podrla 
seguirla hasta algiin sitio solitario y romperle all! el 
craneo con una piedra. Le bastarla con el 
pisapapeles. Pero abandono en seguida esta idea, ya 
que le era intolerable realizar un esfuerzo flsico. No 
podia correr ni dar el golpe. Ademas, la muchacha 
era joven y vigorosa y se defenderla bien. Se le 
ocurrio tambien acudir al Centro Comunal y estarse 
all! hasta que cerraran para tener una coartada de su 
empleo del tiempo durante la tarde. Pero aparte de 
que serla solo una coartada parcial, el proyecto era 
imposible de realizar. Le invadio una mortal 
laxitud. Solo querla llegar a casa pronto y 
descansar. 


Eran mas de las veintidos cuando regreso al piso. 
Apagarlan las luces a las veintitres treinta. Entro en 
su cocina y se trago casi una taza de ginebra de la 
Victoria. Luego se dirigio a la mesita, sentose y 
saco el Diario del cajon. Pero no lo abrio en 
seguida. En la telepantalla una violenta voz 
femenina cantaba una cancion patriotica a grito 
pelado. Observo la tapa del libro intentando 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


126 


marbled cover of the book, trying without success to 
shut the voice out of his consciousness. 


It was at night that they came for you, always at 
night. The proper thing was to kill yourself before 
they got you. Undoubtedly some people did so. 
Many of the disappearances were actually suicides. 
But it needed desperate courage to kill yourself in a 
world where firearms, or any quick and certain 
poison, were completely unprocurable. He thought 
with a kind of astonishment of the biological 
uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the 
human body which always freezes into inertia at 
exactly the moment when a special effort is needed. 
He might have silenced the dark-haired girl if only 
he had acted quickly enough: but precisely because 
of the extremity of his danger he had lost the power 
to act. It struck him that in moments of crisis one is 
never fighting against an external enemy, but always 
against one's own body. Even now, in spite of the 
gin, the dull ache in his belly made consecutive 
thought impossible. And it is the same, he perceived, 
in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the 
battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, 
the issues that you are fighting for are always 
forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the 
universe, and even when you are not paralysed by 
fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to- 
moment struggle against hunger or cold or 
sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching 
tooth. 


He opened the diary. It was important to write 
something down. The woman on the telescreen had 
started a new song. Her voice seemed to stick into 
his brain like jagged splinters of glass. He tried to 
think of O'Brien, for whom, or to whom, the diary 
was written, but instead he began thinking of the 
things that would happen to him after the Thought 
Police took him away. It would not matter if they 
killed you at once. To be killed was what you 
expected. But before death (nobody spoke of such 
things, yet everybody knew of them) there was the 
routine of confession that had to be gone through: 
the grovelling on the floor and screaming for mercy, 
the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth and 
bloody clots of hair. 


inutilmente no prestar atencion a la voz. 


Las detenciones no eran siempre de noche. Lo 
mejor era matarse antes de que lo cogieran a uno. 
Algunos lo haclan. Muchas de las llamadas 
desapariciones no eran mas que suicidios. Pero 
hacla falta un valor desesperado para matarse en un 
mundo donde las armas de fuego y cualquier 
veneno rapido y seguro eran imposibles de 
encontrar. Penso con asombro en la inutilidad 
biologica del dolor y del miedo, en la traicion del 
cuerpo humano, que siempre se inmoviliza en el 
momento exacto en que es necesario realizar algun 
esfuerzo especial. Podia haber eliminado a la 
muchacha morena solo con haber actuado rapida y 
eficazmente; pero precisamente por lo extremo del 
peligro en que se hallaba habla perdido la facultad 
de actuar. Le sorprendio que en los momentos de 
crisis no estemos luchando nunca contra un 
enemigo extemo, sino siempre contra nuestro 
propio cuerpo. Incluso ahora, a pesar de la ginebra, 
la sorda molestia de su vientre le impedla pensar 
ordenadamente. Y lo mismo ocurre en todas las 
situaciones aparentemente heroicas o tragicas. En 
el campo de batalla, en la camara de las torturas, en 
un barco que naufraga, se olvida siempre por que se 
debate uno ya que el cuerpo acaba llenando el 
universo, e incluso cuando no estamos paralizados 
por el miedo o chillando de dolor, la vida es una 
lucha de cada momento contra el hambre, el frfo o 
el insomnio, contra un estomago dolorido o un 
dolor de muelas. 


Abrio el Diario. Era importante escribir algo. La 
mujer de la telepantalla habla empezado una nueva 
cancion. Su voz se le clavaba a Winston en el 
cerebro como pedacitos de vidrio. Procuro pensar 
en O'Brien, a quien dirigla su Diario, pero en vez 
de ello, empezo a pensar en las cosas que le 
sucederfan cuando lo detuviera la Policla del 
Pensamiento. No importaba que lo matasen a uno 
en seguida. Esa muerte era la esperada. Pero antes 
de morir (nadie hablaba de estas cosas aunque 
nadie las ignoraba) habla que pasar por la rutina de 
la confesion: arrastrarse por el suelo, gritar 
pidiendo misericordia, el chasquido de los huesos 
rotos, los dientes partidos y los mechones 
ensangrentados de pelo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


127 


Why did you have to endure it, since the end was 
always the same? Why was it not possible to cut a 
few days or weeks out of your life? Nobody ever 
escaped detection, and nobody ever failed to confess. 
When once you had succumbed to thoughtcrime it 
was certain that by a given date you would be dead. 
Why then did that horror, which altered nothing, 
have to lie embedded in future time? 


He tried with a little more success than before to 
summon up the image of O'Brien. 'We shall meet in 
the place where there is no darkness,' O'Brien had 
said to him. He knew what it meant, or thought he 
knew. The place where there is no darkness was the 
imagined future, which one would never see, but 
which, by foreknowledge, one could mystically 
share in. But with the voice from the telescreen 
nagging at his ears he could not follow the train of 
thought further. He put a cigarette in his mouth. Half 
the tobacco promptly fell out on to his tongue, a 
bitter dust which was difficult to spit out again. The 
face of Big Brother swam into his mind, displacing 
that of O'Brien. Just as he had done a few days 
earlier, he slid a coin out of his pocket and looked at 
it. The face gazed up at him, heavy, calm, protecting: 
but what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark 
moustache? Like a leaden knell the words came 
back at him: 


(■,Para que sufrir todo esto si el fin era el mismo? 
(■,Por que no ahorrarse todo esto? Nadie escapaba a 
la vigilancia ni dejaba de confesar. El culpable de 
crimental estaba completamente seguro de que lo 
matarran antes o despues. ^Para que, pues, todo ese 
horror que nada alteraba? 


Por fin, consiguio evocar la imagen de O'Brien. 
«Nos encontraremos en el sitio donde no hay 
oscuridad», le habia dicho O'Brien en el sueno. 
Winston sabra lo que esto significaba, o se figuraba 
saberlo. El lugar donde no hay oscuridad era el 
futuro imaginado, que nunca se vena; pero, por 
adivinacion, podrfa uno participar en el 
mrsticamente. Con la voz de la telepantalla 
zumbandole en los ordos no podra pensar con 
ilacion. Se puso un cigarrillo en la boca. La mitad 
del tabaco se le cayo en la lengua, un polvillo 
amargo que luego no se podra escupir. El rostro del 
Gran Hermano flotaba en su mente desplazando al 
de O'Brien. Lo mismo que habia hecho unos dras 
antes, se saco una moneda del bolsillo y la 
contemplo. El rostro le miraba pesado, tranquilo, 
protector. Pero, <;,que clase de sonrisa se escondra 
bajo el oscuro bigote? Las palabras de las 
consignas martilleaban el cerebro de Winston: 


WAR IS PEACE 
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY 
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 


LA GUERRA ES LA PAZ 
LA LIBERT AD ES LA ESCLAVITUD 
LA IGNORANCIA ES LA FUERZA 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


128 


PART TWO 


Chapter 1 


It was the middle of the morning, and Winston had 
left the cubicle to go to the lavatory. 


A solitary figure was coming towards him from the 
other end of the long, brightly-lit corridor. It was the 
girl with dark hair. Four days had gone past since the 
evening when he had run into her outside the junk- 
shop. As she came nearer he saw that her right arm 
was in a sling, not noticeable at a distance because it 
was of the same colour as her overalls. Probably she 
had crushed her hand while swinging round one of 
the big kaleidoscopes on which the plots of novels 
were 'roughed in'. It was a common accident in the 
Fiction Department. 


They were perhaps four metres apart when the girl 
stumbled and fell almost flat on her face. A sharp cry 
of pain was wrung out of her. She must have fallen 
right on the injured arm. Winston stopped short. The 
girl had risen to her knees. Her face had turned a 
milky yellow colour against which her mouth stood 
out redder than ever. Her eyes were fixed on his, 
with an appealing expression that looked more like 
fear than pain. 


A curious emotion stirred in Winston's heart. In front 
of him was an enemy who was trying to kill him: in 
front of him, also, was a human creature, in pain and 
perhaps with a broken bone. Already he had 
instinctively started forward to help her. In the 
moment when he had seen her fall on the bandaged 
arm, it had been as though he felt the pain in his own 
body. 


'You're hurt?' he said. 


'It's nothing. My arm. It'll be all right in a second.' 


SEGUNDA PARTE 
CAPITULO I 


A media manana, Winston salio de su cabina para 
ir a los lavabos. 


Una figura solitaria avanzaba hacia el desde el otro 
extremo del largo pasillo brillantemente iluminado. 
Era la muchacha morena. Habian pasado cuatro 
dlas desde la tarde en que se la habla encontrado 
cerca de la tienda. A1 acercarse, vio Winston que la 
joven llevaba en cabestrillo el brazo derecho. De 
lejos no se habla fijado en ello porque las vendas 
tenlan el mismo color que el «mono». 
Probablemente, se habrfa aplastado la mano para 
hacer girar uno de los grandes calidoscopios donde 
se fabricaban los argumentos de las novelas. Era un 
accidente que ocurrla con frecuencia en el 
Departamento de Novela. 

Estaban separados todavla por cuatro metros 
cuando la joven dio un traspie y se cayo de cara al 
suelo exhalando un grito de dolor. Por lo visto, 
habla caldo sobre el brazo herido. Winston se paro 
en seco. La muchacha logro ponerse de rodillas. 
Tenia la cara muy palida y los labios, por contraste, 
mas rojos que nunca. Clavo los ojos en Winston 
con una expresion desolada que mas parecla de 
miedo que de dolor. 

Una curiosa emocion conmovio a Winston. Frente 
a el tenia a la enemiga que procuraba su muerte. 
Frente a el, tambien, habla una criatura humana 
que sufrfa y que quizas se hubiera partido el hueso 
de la nariz. Se acerco a ella instintivamente, para 
ayudarla. Winston habla sentido el dolor de ella en 
su propio cuerpo al verla caer con el brazo 
vendado. 


— ^Estas herida? — le dijo. 

— No es nada. El brazo. Estare bien en seguida. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


129 


She spoke as though her heart were fluttering. She 
had certainly turned very pale. 

'You haven't broken anything?' 

'No, I'm all right. It hurt for a moment, that's all.' 


She held out her free hand to him, and he helped her 
up. She had regained some of her colour, and 
appeared very much better. 

'It's nothing,' she repeated shortly. 'I only gave my 
wrist a bit of a bang. Thanks, comrade!' 

And with that she walked on in the direction in 
which she had been going, as briskly as though it had 
really been nothing. The whole incident could not 
have taken as much as half a minute. Not to let one's 
feelings appear in one's face was a habit that had 
acquired the status of an instinct, and in any case 
they had been standing straight in front of a 
telescreen when the thing happened. Nevertheless it 
had been very difficult not to betray a momentary 
surprise, for in the two or three seconds while he was 
helping her up the girl had slipped something into his 
hand. There was no question that she had done it 
intentionally. It was something small and flat. As he 
passed through the lavatory door he transferred it to 
his pocket and felt it with the tips of his fingers. It 
was a scrap of paper folded into a square. 

While he stood at the urinal he managed, with a little 
more fingering, to get it unfolded. Obviously there 
must be a message of some kind written on it. For a 
moment he was tempted to take it into one of the 
water-closets and read it at once. But that would be 
shocking folly, as he well knew. There was no place 
where you could be more certain that the telescreens 
were watched continuously. 

He went back to his cubicle, sat down, threw the 


Hablaba como si le saltara el corazon. Estaba 
temblando y palidlsima. 

— ^No te has roto nada? 

— No, estoy bien. Me dolio un momento nada 
mas. 


Le tendio a Winston su mano libre y el la ayudo a 
levantarse. Le habla vuelto algo de color y parecla 
hallarse mucho mejor. 

— No ha sido nada — repitio poco despues — . Lo 
que me dolio fue la muneca. [Gracias, camarada? 

Y sin mas, continuo en la direccion que trala con 
paso tan vivo como si realmente no le hubiera 
sucedido nada. El incidente no habla durado mas 
de medio minuto. Era un habito adquirido por 
instinto ocultar los sentimientos, y ademas cuando 
ocurrio aquello se hallaban exactamente delante de 
una telepantalla. Sin embargo, a Winston le habla 
sido muy diflcil no traicionarse y manifestar una 
sorpresa momentanea, pues en los dos o tres 
segundos en que ayudo a la joven a levantarse, esta 
le habla deslizado algo en la mano. Evidentemente, 
lo habla hecho a proposito. Era un pequeno papel 
doblado. A1 pasar por la puerta de los lavabos, se lo 
metio en el bolsillo. 


Mientras estuvo en el urinario, se las arreglo para 
desdoblarlo dentro del bolsillo. Desde luego, tenia 
que haber algun mensaje en ese papel. Estuvo 
tentado de entrar en uno de los waters y leerlo alll. 
Pero eso habrfa sido una locura. En ningun sitio 
vigilaban las telepantallas con mas interes que en 
los retretes. 


Volvio a su cabina — , sentose, arrojo el pedazo de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


130 


fragment of paper casually among the other papers 
on the desk, put on his spectacles and hitched the 
speakwrite towards him. 'Five minutes,' he told 
himself, 'five minutes at the very least!' His heart 
bumped in his breast with frightening loudness. 
Fortunately the piece of work he was engaged on 
was mere routine, the rectification of a long list of 
figures, not needing close attention. 


Whatever was written on the paper, it must have 
some kind of political meaning. So far as he could 
see there were two possibilities. One, much the more 
likely, was that the girl was an agent of the Thought 
Police, just as he had feared. He did not know why 
the Thought Police should choose to deliver their 
messages in such a fashion, but perhaps they had 
their reasons. The thing that was written on the paper 
might be a threat, a summons, an order to commit 
suicide, a trap of some description. But there was 
another, wilder possibility that kept raising its head, 
though he tried vainly to suppress it. This was, that 
the message did not come from the Thought Police at 
all, but from some kind of underground organization. 
Perhaps the Brotherhood existed after all! Perhaps 
the girl was part of it! No doubt the idea was absurd, 
but it had sprung into his mind in the very instant of 
feeling the scrap of paper in his hand. It was not till a 
couple of minutes later that the other, more probable 
explanation had occurred to him. And even now, 
though his intellect told him that the message 
probably meant death — still, that was not what he 
believed, and the unreasonable hope persisted, and 
his heart banged, and it was with difficulty that he 
kept his voice from trembling as he murmured his 
figures into the speakwrite. 


He rolled up the completed bundle of work and slid 
it into the pneumatic tube. Eight minutes had gone 
by. He re-adjusted his spectacles on his nose, sighed, 
and drew the next batch of work towards him, with 
the scrap of paper on top of it. He flattened it out. On 
it was written, in a large unformed handwriting: 


papel entre los demas de encima de la mesa, se 
puso las gafas y se acerco al hablescribe. 
«jTodavfa cinco minutos! se dijo a sf mismo — , 
jpor lo menos cinco minutos !». Le galopaba el 
corazon en el pecho con aterradora velocidad. 
Afortunadamente, el trabajo que estaba realizando 
era de simple rutina — la rectificacion de una larga 
lista de numeros — y no necesitaba fijar la 
atencion. 


Las palabras contenidas en el papel tendrfan con 
toda seguridad un significado politico. Habia dos 
posibilidades. calculaba Winston. Una, la mas 
probable, era que la chica fuera un agente de la 
Policla del Pensamiento, como el temla. No sabla 
por que empleaba la Policla del Pensamiento ese 
procedimiento para entregar sus mensajes, pero 
podia tener sus razones para ello. Lo escrito en el 
papel podia ser una amenaza, una orden de 
suicidarse, una trampa... Pero habia otra 
posibilidad, aunque Winston trataba de 
convencerse de que era una locura: que este 
mensaje no viniera de la Policla del Pensamiento, 
sino de alguna organizacion clandestina. jQuizas 
existiera una Hermandad! jQuizas fuera aquella 
muchacha uno de sus miembros! La idea era 
absurda, pero se le habia ocurrido en el mismo 
instante en que sintio el roce del papel en su mano. 
Hasta unos minutos despues no penso en la otra 
posibilidad, mucho mas sensata. E incluso ahora, 
aunque su cabeza le decla que el mensaje 
significarfa probablemente la muerte, no acababa 
de creerlo y persistla en el la disparatada 
esperanza. Le latla el corazon y le costaba un gran 
esfuerzo conseguir que no le temblara la voz 
mientras murmuraba las cantidades en el 
hablescribe. 


Cuando termino, hizo un rollo con sus papeles y 
los introdujo en el tubo neumatico. Hablan pasado 
ocho minutos. Se ajusto las gafas sobre la nariz, 
suspiro y se acerco el otro monton de hojas que 
habia de examinar. Encima estaba el papelito 
doblado. Lo desdoblo; en el habia escritas estas 
palabras con letra impersonal: 


I LOVE YOU. 


Te quiero. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


131 


For several seconds he was too stunned even to 
throw the incriminating thing into the memory hole. 
When he did so, although he knew very well the 
danger of showing too much interest, he could not 
resist reading it once again, just to make sure that the 
words were really there. 


For the rest of the morning it was very difficult to 
work. What was even worse than having to focus his 
mind on a series of niggling jobs was the need to 
conceal his agitation from the telescreen. He felt as 
though a fire were burning in his belly. Lunch in the 
hot, crowded, noise-filled canteen was torment. He 
had hoped to be alone for a little while during the 
lunch hour, but as bad luck would have it the 
imbecile Parsons flopped down beside him, the tang 
of his sweat almost defeating the tinny smell of stew, 
and kept up a stream of talk about the preparations 
for Hate Week. He was particularly enthusiastic 
about a papier-mache model of Big Brother's head, 
two metres wide, which was being made for the 
occasion by his daughter's troop of Spies. The 
irritating thing was that in the racket of voices 
Winston could hardly hear what Parsons was saying, 
and was constantly having to ask for some fatuous 
remark to be repeated. Just once he caught a glimpse 
of the girl, at a table with two other girls at the far 
end of the room. She appeared not to have seen him, 
and he did not look in that direction again. 


The afternoon was more bearable. Immediately after 
lunch there arrived a delicate, difficult piece of work 
which would take several hours and necessitated 
putting everything else aside. It consisted in 
falsifying a series of production reports of two years 
ago, in such a way as to cast discredit on a prominent 
member of the Inner Party, who was now under a 
cloud. This was the kind of thing that Winston was 
good at, and for more than two hours he succeeded in 
shutting the girl out of his mind altogether. Then the 
memory of her face came back, and with it a raging, 
intolerable desire to be alone. Until he could be alone 
it was impossible to think this new development out. 
Tonight was one of his nights at the Community 
Centre. He wolfed another tasteless meal in the 


Winston se quedo tan estupefacto que ni siquiera 
tiro aquella prueba delictiva en el «agujero de la 
memoria». Cuando por fin, reaccionando, se 
dispuso a hacerlo, aunque sabia muy bien cuanto 
peligro habia en manifestar demasiado interes por 
algiin papel escrito, volvio a leerlo antes para 
convencerse de que no habia sonado. 

Durante el resto de la manana, le fue muy dificil 
trabajar. Peor aun que fijar su mente sobre las 
tareas habituales, era la necesidad de ocultarle a la 
telepantalla su agitacion interior. Sintio como si le 
quemara un fuego en el estomago. La comida en la 
atestada y ruidosa cantina le resulto un tormento. 
Habia esperado hallarse un rato solo durante el 
almuerzo, pero tuvo la mala suerte de que el 
imbecil de Parsons se le colocara a su lado y le 
soltara una interminable sarta de tonterias sobre los 
preparativos para la Semana del Odio. Lo que mas 
le entusiasmaba a aquel simple era un modelo en 
carton de la cabeza del Gran Hermano, de dos 
metros de anchura, que estaban preparando en el 
grupo de espias al que pertenecia la nina de 
Parsons. Lo mas irritante era que Winston apenas 
podia oir lo que decia Parsons y tenia que rogarle 
constantemente que repitiera las estupideces que 
acababa de decir. Por un momento, diviso a la 
chica morena, que estaba en una mesa con otras 
dos companeras al otro extremo de la estancia. 
Parecio no verle y el no volvio a mirar en aquella 
direccidn. 


La tarde fue mas soportable. Despues de comer 
recibio un delicado y dificil trabajo que le habia de 
ocupar varias horas y acaparar su atencion. 
Consistia en falsificar una serie de informes de 
produccion de dos anos antes con objeto de 
desacreditar a un prominente miembro del Partido 
Interior que empezaba a estar mal — visto. 
Winston servia para estas cosas y durante mas de 
dos horas logro apartar a la joven de su mente. 
Entonces le volvio el recuerdo de su cara y sintio 
un rabioso e intolerable deseo de estar solo. Porque 
necesitaba la soledad para pensar a fondo en sus 
nuevas circunstancias. Aquella noche era una de 
las elegidas por el Centro Comunal para sus 
reuniones. Tomo una cena temprana — otra 



132 


George Orwell 

canteen, hurried off to the Centre, took part in the 
solemn foolery of a 'discussion group', played two 
games of table tennis, swallowed several glasses of 
gin, and sat for half an hour through a lecture entitled 
'Ingsoc in relation to chess'. His soul writhed with 
boredom, but for once he had had no impulse to shirk 
his evening at the Centre. At the sight of the words I 
LOVE YOU the desire to stay alive had welled up in 
him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed 
stupid. It was not till twenty-three hours, when he 
was home and in bed — in the darkness, where you 
were safe even from the telescreen so long as you 
kept silent — that he was able to think continuously. 


It was a physical problem that had to be solved: how 
to get in touch with the girl and arrange a meeting. 
He did not consider any longer the possibility that 
she might be laying some kind of trap for him. He 
knew that it was not so, because of her unmistakable 
agitation when she handed him the note. Obviously 
she had been frightened out of her wits, as well she 
might be. Nor did the idea of refusing her advances 
even cross his mind. Only five nights ago he had 
contemplated smashing her skull in with a 
cobblestone, but that was of no importance. He 
thought of her naked, youthful body, as he had seen 
it in his dream. He had imagined her a fool like all 
the rest of them, her head stuffed with lies and 
hatred, her belly full of ice. A kind of fever seized 
him at the thought that he might lose her, the white 
youthful body might slip away from him! What he 
feared more than anything else was that she would 
simply change her mind if he did not get in touch 
with her quickly. But the physical difficulty of 
meeting was enormous. It was like trying to make a 
move at chess when you were already mated. 
Whichever way you turned, the telescreen faced you. 
Actually, all the possible ways of communicating 
with her had occurred to him within five minutes of 
reading the note; but now, with time to think, he 
went over them one by one, as though laying out a 
row of instruments on a table. 


19 8 4 

insfpida comida — en la cantina, se marcho al 
Centro a toda prisa, participo en las solemnes 
tonterfas de un «grupo de polemistas», jugo dos 
veces al tenis de mesa, se trago varios vasos de 
ginebra y soporto durante una hora la conferencia 
titulada «Los principios de Ingsoc en el juego de 
ajedrez». Su alma se retorcla de puro aburrimiento, 
pero por primera vez no sintio el menor impulso de 
evitarse una tarde en el Centro. A la vista de las 
palabras Te quiero, el deseo de seguir viviendo le 
dominaba y parecla tonto exponerse a correr unos 
riesgos que podlan evitarse tan facilmente. Hasta 
las veintitres, cuando ya estaba acostado en la 
oscuridad, donde estaba uno libre hasta de la 
telepantalla con tal de no hacer ningun ruido — no 
pudo dejar fluir libremente sus pensamientos. 

Se trataba de un problema flsico que habla de ser 
resuelta, como ponerse en relacion con la 
muchacha y preparar una cita. No crela ya posible 
que la joven le estuviera tendiendo una trampa. 
Estaba seguro de que no era asf por la 
inconfundible agitacion que ella no habia podido 
ocultar al entregarle el papelito. Era evidente que 
estaba asustadlsima, y con motivo sobrado. A 
Winston no le paso siquiera por la cabeza la idea 
de rechazar a la muchacha. Solo hacla cinco 
noches que se habla propuesto romperle el craneo 
con una piedra. Pero lo mismo daba. Ahora se la 
imaginaba desnuda como la habla visto en su 
ensueno. Se la habla figurado idiota como las 
demas, con la cabeza llena de mentiras y de odios y 
el vientre helado. Una angustia febril se apodero de 
el al pensar que pudiera perderla, que aquel cuerpo 
bianco y juvenil se le escapara. Lo que mas temla 
era que la muchacha cambiase de idea si no se 
ponla en relacion con ella rapidamente. Pero la 
dificultad flsica de esta aproximacion era enorme. 
Resultaba tan diflcil como intentar un movimiento 
en el juego de ajedrez cuando ya le han dado a uno 
el mate. Adondequiera que fuera uno, all! estaba la 
telepantalla. Todos los medios posibles para 
comunicarse con la joven se le ocurrieron a 
Winston a los cinco minutos de leer la nota; pero 
una vez acostado y con tiempo para pensar bien, 
los fue analizando uno a uno como si tuviera 
esparcidas en una mesa una fila de herramientas 
para probarlas. 



133 


George Orwell 

Obviously the kind of encounter that had happened 
this morning could not be repeated. If she had 
worked in the Records Department it might have 
been comparatively simple, but he had only a very 
dim idea whereabouts in the building the Fiction 
Department lay, and he had no pretext for going 
there. If he had known where she lived, and at what 
time she left work, he could have contrived to meet 
her somewhere on her way home; but to try to follow 
her home was not safe, because it would mean 
loitering about outside the Ministry, which was 
bound to be noticed. As for sending a letter through 
the mails, it was out of the question. By a routine that 
was not even secret, all letters were opened in transit. 
Actually, few people ever wrote letters. For the 
messages that it was occasionally necessary to send, 
there were printed postcards with long lists of 
phrases, and you struck out the ones that were 
inapplicable. In any case he did not know the girl's 
name, let alone her address. Finally he decided that 
the safest place was the canteen. If he could get her 
at a table by herself, somewhere in the middle of the 
room, not too near the telescreens, and with a 
sufficient buzz of conversation all round — if these 
conditions endured for, say, thirty seconds, it might 
be possible to exchange a few words. 


For a week after this, life was like a restless dream. 
On the next day she did not appear in the canteen 
until he was leaving it, the whistle having already 
blown. Presumably she had been changed on to a 
later shift. They passed each other without a glance. 
On the day after that she was in the canteen at the 
usual time, but with three other girls and 
immediately under a telescreen. Then for three 
dreadful days she did not appear at all. His whole 
mind and body seemed to be afflicted with an 
unbearable sensitivity, a sort of transparency, which 
made every movement, every sound, every contact, 
every word that he had to speak or listen to, an 
agony. Even in sleep he could not altogether escape 
from her image. He did not touch the diary during 
those days. If there was any relief, it was in his work, 
in which he could sometimes forget himself for ten 
minutes at a stretch. He had absolutely no clue as to 
what had happened to her. There was no enquiry he 
could make. She might have been vaporized, she 
might have committed suicide, she might have been 
transferred to the other end of Oceania: worst and 
likeliest of all, she might simply have changed her 


19 8 4 

Desde luego, la clase de encuentro de aquella 
manana no podia repetirse. Si ella hubiera 
trabajado en el Departamento de Registro, habrfa 
sido muy sencillo, pero Winston tenia una idea 
muy remota de donde estaba el Departamento de 
Novela en el edificio del Ministerio y no tenia 
pretexto alguno para ir alii. Si hubiera sabido 
donde vivia y a que hora salia del trabajo, se las 
habrfa arreglado para hacerse el encontradizo; pero 
no era prudente seguirla a casa ya que esto suponia 
esperarla delante del Ministerio a la salida, lo cual 
llamarfa la atencion indefectiblemente. En cuanto a 
mandar una carta por correo, serfa una locura. Ni 
siquiera se ocultaba que todas las cartas se abrian, 
por lo cual casi nadie escribia ya cartas. Para los 
mensajes que se necesitaba mandar, habia tarjetas 
impresas con largas listas de frases y se escogia la 
mas adecuada borrando las demas. En todo caso, 
no solo ignoraba la direccion de la muchacha, sino 
incluso su nombre. Finalmente, decidio que el sitio 
mas seguro era la cantina. Si pudiera ocupar una 
mesa junto a la de ella hacia la mitad del local, no 
demasiado cerca de la telepantalla y con el 
zumbido de las conversaciones alrededor, le 
bastaba con treinta segundos para ponerse de 
acuerdo con ella. 


Durante una semana despues, la vida fue para 
Winston como una pesadilla. A1 dia siguiente, la 
joven no aparecio por la cantina hasta el momento 
en que el se marchaba cuando ya habia sonado la 
sirena. Seguramente, la habian cambiado a otro 
turno. Se cruzaron sin mirarse. A1 dia siguiente, 
estuvo ella en la cantina a la hora de costumbre, 
pero con otras tres chicas y debajo de una 
telepantalla. Pasaron tres dias insoportables para 
Winston, en que no la vio en la cantina. Tanto su 
espiritu como su cuerpo habian adquirido una 
hipersensibilidad que casi le imposibilitaba para 
hablar y moverse. Incluso en suenos no podia 
librarse por completo de aquella imagen. Durante 
aquellos dias no abrio su Diario. El unico alivio lo 
encontraba en el trabajo; entonces conseguia 
olvidarla durante diez minutos seguidos. No tenia 
ni la menor idea de lo que pudiera haberle ocurrido 
y no habia que pensar en hacer una investigacion. 
Quiza. la hubieran vaporizado, quiza se hubiera 
suicidado o, a lo mejor, la habian trasladado al otro 
extremo de Oceania. La posibilidad a la vez mejor 
y peor de todas era que la joven, sencillamente, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


134 


mind and decided to avoid him. 


The next day she reappeared. Her arm was out of the 
sling and she had a band of sticking-plaster round her 
wrist. The relief of seeing her was so great that he 
could not resist staring directly at her for several 
seconds. On the following day he very nearly 
succeeded in speaking to her. When he came into the 
canteen she was sitting at a table well out from the 
wall, and was quite alone. It was early, and the place 
was not very full. The queue edged forward till 
Winston was almost at the counter, then was held up 
for two minutes because someone in front was 
complaining that he had not received his tablet of 
saccharine. But the girl was still alone when Winston 
secured his tray and began to make for her table. He 
walked casually towards her, his eyes searching for a 
place at some table beyond her. She was perhaps 
three metres away from him. Another two seconds 
would do it. Then a voice behind him called, 'Smith!' 
He pretended not to hear. 'Smith!' repeated the voice, 
more loudly. It was no use. He turned round. A 
blond-headed, silly-faced young man named 
Wilsher, whom he barely knew, was inviting him 
with a smile to a vacant place at his table. It was not 
safe to refuse. After having been recognized, he 
could not go and sit at a table with an unattended 
girl. It was too noticeable. He sat down with a 
friendly smile. The silly blond face beamed into his. 
Winston had a hallucination of himself smashing a 
pick-axe right into the middle of it. The girl's table 
filled up a few minutes later. 


But she must have seen him coming towards her, and 
perhaps she would take the hint. Next day he took 
care to arrive early. Surely enough, she was at a table 
in about the same place, and again alone. The person 
immediately ahead of him in the queue was a small, 
swiftly-moving, beetle-like man with a flat face and 
tiny, suspicious eyes. As Winston turned away from 
the counter with his tray, he saw that the little man 
was making straight for the girl's table. His hopes 
sank again. There was a vacant place at a table 
further away, but something in the little man's 
appearance suggested that he would be sufficiently 


hubiera cambiado de idea y le rehuyera. 


Pero al dla siguiente reaparecio. Ya no trala el 
brazo en cabestrillo; solo una proteccion de yeso 
alrededor de la muneca. El alivio que sintio al verla 
de nuevo fue tan grande que no pudo evitar mirarla 
directamente durante varios segundos. Al dla 
siguiente, casi logro hablar con ella. Cuando 
Winston llego a la cantina, la encontro sentada a 
una mesa muy alejada de la pared. Estaba 
completamente sola. Era temprano y habia poca 
gente. La cola avanzo hasta que Winston se 
encontro casi junto al mostrador, pero se detuvo 
all! unos dos minutos a causa de que alguien se 
quejaba de no haber recibido su pastilla de 
sacarina. Pero la muchacha segula sola cuando 
Winston tuvo ya servida su bandeja y avanzaba 
hacia ella. Lo hizo como por casualidad fingiendo 
que buscaba un sitio mas alia de donde se 
encontraba la joven. Estaban separados todavla 
unos tres metros. Bastaban dos segundos para 
reunirse, pero entonces sono una voz detras de el: 
«jSmith!». Winston hizo como que no ola. 
Entonces la voz repitio mas alto: «jSmith!». Era 
inutil hacerse el tonto. Se volvio. Un muchacho 
llamado Wilsher, a quien apenas conocla Winston, 
le invitaba sonriente a sentarse en un sitio vacio 
junto a el. No era prudente rechazar esta invitacion. 
Despues de haber sido reconocido, no podia ir a 
sentarse junto a una muchacha sola. Quedarla 
demasiado en evidencia. Haciendo de tripas 
corazon, le sonrio amablemente al muchacho, que 
le miraba con un rostro beatlfico. Winston, como 
en una alucinacion, se vela a si mismo partiendole 
la cara a aquel estupido con un hacha. La mesa 
donde estaba ella se lleno a los pocos minutos. 


Por lo menos, la joven tenia que haberlo visto ir 
hacia ella y se habrfa dado cuenta de su intencion. 
Al dla siguiente, tuvo buen cuidado de llegar 
temprano. All! estaba ella, exactamente, en la 
misma mesa y otra vez sola. La persona que 
precedla a Winston en la cola era un hombrecillo 
nervioso con una cara aplastada y ojos suspicaces. 
Al alejarse Winston del mostrador, vio que aquel 
hombre se dirigla hacia la mesa de ella. Sus 
esperanzas se vinieron abajo. Habia un sitio vacio 
una mesa mas alia, pero algo en el aspecto de aquel 
tipejo le convencio a Winston de que este no se 



135 


George Orwell 

attentive to his own comfort to choose the emptiest 
table. With ice at his heart Winston followed. It was 
no use unless he could get the girl alone. At this 
moment there was a tremendous crash. The little man 
was sprawling on all fours, his tray had gone flying, 
two streams of soup and coffee were flowing across 
the floor. He started to his feet with a malignant 
glance at Winston, whom he evidently suspected of 
having tripped him up. But it was all right. Five 
seconds later, with a thundering heart, Winston was 
sitting at the girl's table. 


He did not look at her. He unpacked his tray and 
promptly began eating. It was all-important to speak 
at once, before anyone else came, but now a terrible 
fear had taken possession of him. A week had gone 
by since she had first approached him. She would 
have changed her mind, she must have changed her 
mind! It was impossible that this affair should end 
successfully; such things did not happen in real life. 
He might have flinched altogether from speaking if 
at this moment he had not seen Ampleforth, the 
hairy-eared poet, wandering limply round the room 
with a tray, looking for a place to sit down. In his 
vague way Ampleforth was attached to Winston, and 
would certainly sit down at his table if he caught 
sight of him. There was perhaps a minute in which to 
act. Both Winston and the girl were eating steadily. 
The stuff they were eating was a thin stew, actually a 
soup, of haricot beans. In a low murmur Winston 
began speaking. Neither of them looked up; steadily 
they spooned the watery stuff into their mouths, and 
between spoonfuls exchanged the few necessary 
words in low expressionless voices. 


'What time do you leave work?' 


'Eighteen-thirty.' 


'Where can we meet?' 


'Victory Square, near the monument.' 


19 8 4 

instalarra en la mesa donde no habra nadie para 
evitarse la molestia de verse obligado a soportar a 
los desconocidos que luego se quisieran sentar allr. 
Con verdadera angustia, lo siguio Winston. De 
nada le servirfa sentarse con ella si alguien mas los 
acompanaba. En aquel momento, hubo un ruido 
tremendo. El hombrecillo se habia cardo de braces 
y la bandeja salio volando derramandose la sopa y 
el cafe. Se puso en pie y miro ferozmente a 
Winston. Evidentemente, sospechaba que este le 
habra puesto la zancadilla. Pero daba lo mismo 
porque poco despues, con el corazon galopandole, 
se instalaba Winston junto a la muchacha. 

No la miro. Coloco en la mesa el contenido de su 
bandeja y empezo a comer. Era importantrsimo 
hablar en seguida antes de que alguna otra persona 
se uniera a ellos. Pero le invadra un miedo terrible. 
Habra pasado una semana desde que la joven se 
habra acercado a el. Podra haber cambiado de idea, 
es decir, tenra que haber cambiado de idea. Era 
imposible que este asunto terminara felizmente; 
estas cosas no suceden en la vida real, y 
probablemente no habrfa llegado a hablarle si en 
aquel momento no hubiera visto a Ampleforth, el 
poeta de orejas velludas, que andaba de un lado a 
otro buscando sitio. Era seguro que Ampleforth, 
que conocra bastante a Winston, se sentarra en su 
mesa en cuanto lo viera. Tenra, pues, un minuto 
para actuar. Tanto el como la muchacha comran 
rapidamente. Era una especie de guiso muy caldoso 
de habas. En voz muy baja, empezo Winston a 
hablar. No se miraban. Se llevaban a la boca la 
comida y entre cucharada y cucharada se decran las 
palabras indispensables en voz baja e inexpresivo. 


— I, A que hora sales del trabajo? 

— Dieciocho treinta. 


— ^Donde podemos vernos? 

— En la Plaza de la Victoria, cerca del 
Monumento. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


136 


'It's full of telescreens.' 


'It doesn't matter if there's a crowd.' 


'Any signal?' 

'No. Don't come up to me until you see me among a 
lot of people. And don't look at me. Just keep 
somewhere near me.' 


'What time?' 


'Nineteen hours.' 


'All right.' 

Ampleforth failed to see Winston and sat down at 
another table. They did not speak again, and, so far 
as it was possible for two people sitting on opposite 
sides of the same table, they did not look at one 
another. The girl finished her lunch quickly and 
made off, while Winston stayed to smoke a cigarette. 

Winston was in Victory Square before the appointed 
time. He wandered round the base of the enormous 
fluted column, at the top of which Big Brother's 
statue gazed southward towards the skies where he 
had vanquished the Eurasian aeroplanes (the 
Eastasian aeroplanes, it had been, a few years ago) in 
the Battle of Airstrip One. In the street in front of it 
there was a statue of a man on horseback which was 
supposed to represent Oliver Cromwell. At five 
minutes past the hour the girl had still not appeared. 


Again the terrible fear seized upon Winston. She was 
not coming, she had changed her mind! He walked 
slowly up to the north side of the square and got a 
sort of pale-coloured pleasure from identifying St 
Martin's Church, whose bells, when it had bells, had 
chimed 'You owe me three farthings.' Then he saw 


— Hay muchas telepantallas alii. 

— No importa, porque hay mucha circulacion. 

— ^Alguna serial? 

— No. No te acerques hasta que no me veas entre 
mucha gente. Y no me mires. Sigue andando cerca 
de mi. 


— I A. que hora? 

— A las diecinueve. 


— Muy bien. 

Ampleforth no vio a Winston y se sento en otra 
mesa. No volvieron a hablar y, en lo humanamente 
posible entre dos personas sentadas una frente a 
otra y en la misma mesa, no se miraban. La joven 
acabo de comer a toda velocidad y se marcho. 
Winston se quedo fumando un cigarrillo. 

Antes de la hora convenida estaba Winston en la 
Plaza de la Victoria. Dio vueltas en tomo a la 
enorme columna en lo alto de la cual la estatua del 
Gran Hermano miraba hacia el Sur, hacia los cielos 
donde habia vencido a los aviones eurasiaticos 
(pocos anos antes, los vencidos fueron los aviones 
de Asia Oriental), en la batalla de la Primera Franja 
Aerea. En la calle de enfrente habia una estatua 
ecuestre cuyo jinete representaba, scgun decian, a 
Oliver Cromwell. Cinco minutos despues de la 
hora que fijaron, aun no se habia presentado la 
muchacha. 

Otra vez le entro a Winston un gran panico. [No 
venial [Habia cambiado de idea! Se dirigio 
lentamente hacia el norte de la plaza y tuvo el 
placer de identificar la iglesia de San Martin, cuyas 
campanas — cuando existian — habian cantado 
aquello de «me debes tres peniques». Entonces vio 



George Orwell 


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137 


the girl standing at the base of the monument, 
reading or pretending to read a poster which ran 
spirally up the column. It was not safe to go near her 
until some more people had accumulated. There were 
telescreens all round the pediment. But at this 
moment there was a din of shouting and a zoom of 
heavy vehicles from somewhere to the left. Suddenly 
everyone seemed to be running across the square. 
The girl nipped nimbly round the lions at the base of 
the monument and joined in the rush. Winston 
followed. As he ran, he gathered from some shouted 
remarks that a convoy of Eurasian prisoners was 
passing. 


Already a dense mass of people was blocking the 
south side of the square. Winston, at normal times 
the kind of person who gravitates to the outer edge of 
any kind of scrimmage, shoved, butted, squirmed his 
way forward into the heart of the crowd. Soon he 
was within arm's length of the girl, but the way was 
blocked by an enormous prole and an almost equally 
enormous woman, presumably his wife, who seemed 
to form an impenetrable wall of flesh. Winston 
wriggled himself sideways, and with a violent lunge 
managed to drive his shoulder between them. For a 
moment it felt as though his entrails were being 
ground to pulp between the two muscular hips, then 
he had broken through, sweating a little. He was next 
to the girl. They were shoulder to shoulder, both 
staring fixedly in front of them. 


A long line of trucks, with wooden-faced guards 
armed with sub-machine guns standing upright in 
each corner, was passing slowly down the street. In 
the trucks little yellow men in shabby greenish 
uniforms were squatting, jammed close together. 
Their sad, Mongolian faces gazed out over the sides 
of the trucks utterly incurious. Occasionally when a 
truck jolted there was a clank-clank of metal: all the 
prisoners were wearing leg-irons. Truck-load after 
truck-load of the sad faces passed. Winston knew 
they were there but he saw them only intermittently. 
The girl's shoulder, and her arm right down to the 
elbow, were pressed against his. Her cheek was 
almost near enough for him to feel its warmth. She 
had immediately taken charge of the situation, just as 
she had done in the canteen. She began speaking in 


a la chica parada al pie del monumento, leyendo o 
fingiendo que lela un cartel arrollado a la columna 
en espiral. No era prudente acercarse a ella hasta 
que se hubiera acumulado mas gente. Habla 
telepantallas en todo el contorno del monumento. 
Pero en aquel mismo momento se produjo una gran 
griterfa y el ruido de unos vehlculos pesados que 
venlan por la izquierda. De pronto, todos cruzaron 
corriendo la plaza. La joven dio la vuelta agilmente 
junto a los leones que formaban la base del 
monumento y se unio a la desbandada. Winston la 
siguio. Al correr, le oyo decir a alguien que un 
convoy de prisioneros eurasiaticos pasaba por all! 
cere a. 


Una densa masa de gente. bloqueaba el lado sur de 
la plaza. Winston, que normalmente era de esas 
personas que rehuyen todas las aglomeraciones, se 
esforzaba esta vez, a codazos y empujones, en 
abrirse paso hasta el centro de la multitud. Pronto 
estuvo a un paso de la joven, pero entre los dos 
habla un corpulento prole y una mujer casi tan 
enorme como el, seguramente su esposa. Entre los 
dos pareclan formar un impenetrable muro de 
came. Winston se fue metiendo de lado y, con un 
violento empujon, logro meter entre la pareja su 
hombro. Por un instante ere yo que se le deshaclan 
las entranas aplastadas entre las dos caderas 
forzudas. Pero, con un esfuerzo supremo, sudoroso, 
consiguio hallarse por fin junto a la chica. Estaban 
hombro con hombro y ambos miraban fijamente 
frente a ellos. 


Una caravana de camiones, con soldados de cara 
petrea armados con fusiles ametralladoras, pasaban 
calle abajo. En los camiones, unos hombres 
pequenos de tez amarilla y harapientos uniformes 
verdosos formaban una masa compacta tan 
apretados como iban. Sus tristes caras mongolicas 
miraban a la gente sin la menor curiosidad. De vez 
en cuando se olan ruidos metalicos al dar un brinco 
alguno de los camiones. Este ruido lo produclan los 
grilletes que llevaban los prisioneros en los pies. 
Pasaron muchos camiones con la misma carga y 
los mismos rostros indiferentes. Winston conocla 
de sobra el contenido, pero solo podia verlos 
intermitentemente. La muchacha apoyaba el 
hombro y el brazo derecho, hasta el codo, contra el 
costado de Winston. Sus mejillas estaban tan 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


138 


the same expressionless voice as before, with lips 
barely moving, a mere murmur easily drowned by 
the din of voices and the rumbling of the trucks. 


'Can you hear me?' 


'Yes.' 


'Can you get Sunday afternoon off?' 


'Yes.' 


'Then listen carefully. You'll have to remember this. 
Go to Paddington Station — ' 


With a sort of military precision that astonished him, 
she outlined the route that he was to follow. A half- 
hour railway journey; turn left outside the station; 
two kilometres along the road; a gate with the top bar 
missing; a path across a field; a grass-grown lane; a 
track between bushes; a dead tree with moss on it. It 
was as though she had a map inside her head. 'Can 
you remember all that?' she murmured finally. 


'Yes.' 


'You turn left, then right, then left again. And the 
gate's got no top bar.' 

'Yes. What time?' 


'About fifteen. You may have to wait. I'll get there by 
another way. Are you sure you remember 


proximas que casi se tocaban. Ella se habla puesto 
inmediatamente a tono con la situacion lo mismo 
que lo habla hecho en la cantina. Empezo a hablar 
con la misma voz inexpresivo, moviendo apenas 
los labios. Era un leve murmullo apagado por las 
voces y el estruendo del desfile. 

— ^Me oyes? 

— SI. 


— ^Puedes salir el domingo? 

— SI. 


— Entonces escucha bien. No lo olvides. Iras a la 
estacion de Paddington... 

Con una precision casi militar que asombro a 
Winston, la chica le fue describiendo la ruta que 
habla de seguir: un viaje de media hora en tren; 
torcer luego a la izquierda al salir de la estacion; 
despues de dos kilometros por carretera y, al llegar 
a un portillo al que le faltaba una barra, entrar por 
el y seguir por aquel sendero cruzando hasta una 
extension de cesped; de all! partla una vereda entre 
arbustos; por fin, un arbol derribado y cubierto de 
musgo. Era como si tuviese un mapa dentro de la 
cabeza. 

— <;Tc acordaras? — murmuro al terminar sus 
indicaciones. 


— SI. 


— Tuerces a la izquierda, luego a la derecha y otra 
vez a la izquierda. Y al portillo le falta una barra. 

— SI. i A que hora? 

— Hacia las quince. A lo mejor tienes que esperar. 
Yo llegare por otro camino. <Yc acordaras bien de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


139 


everything?' 


'Yes.' 


'Then get away from me as quick as you can.' 


She need not have told him that. But for the moment 
they could not extricate themselves from the crowd. 
The trucks were still filing past, the people still 
insatiably gaping. At the start there had been a few 
boos and hisses, but it came only from the Party 
members among the crowd, and had soon stopped. 
The prevailing emotion was simply curiosity. 
Foreigners, whether from Eurasia or from Eastasia, 
were a kind of strange animal. One literally never 
saw them except in the guise of prisoners, and even 
as prisoners one never got more than a momentary 
glimpse of them. Nor did one know what became of 
them, apart from the few who were hanged as war- 
criminals: the others simply vanished, presumably 
into forced-labour camps. The round Mogol faces 
had given way to faces of a more European type, 
dirty, bearded and exhausted. From over scrubby 
cheekbones eyes looked into Winston's, sometimes 
with strange intensity, and flashed away again. The 
convoy was drawing to an end. In the last truck he 
could see an aged man, his face a mass of grizzled 
hair, standing upright with wrists crossed in front of 
him, as though he were used to having them bound 
together. It was almost time for Winston and the girl 
to part. But at the last moment, while the crowd still 
hemmed them in, her hand felt for his and gave it a 
fleeting squeeze. 


It could not have been ten seconds, and yet it seemed 
a long time that their hands were clasped together. 
He had time to learn every detail of her hand. He 
explored the long fingers, the shapely nails, the 
work-hardened palm with its row of callouses, the 
smooth flesh under the wrist. Merely from feeling it 
he would have known it by sight. In the same instant 
it occurred to him that he did not know what colour 


todo? 


— Si. 


— Entonces, marchate de mi lado lo mas pronto 
que puedas. 

No necesitaba haberselo dicho. Pero, por lo pronto, 
no se podia mover. Los camiones no dejaban de 
pasar y la gente no se cansaba de expresar su 
entusiasmo. Aunque es verdad que solamente lo 
expresaban abriendo la boca en serial de 
estupefaccion. A1 Principio habia habido algunos 
abucheos y silbidos, pero procedfan solo de los 
miembros del Partido y pronto cesaron. La 
emocion dominante era solo la curiosidad. Los 
extranjeros, ya fueran de Eurasia o de Asia 
Oriental, eran como animales raros. No habia 
manera de verlos, sino como prisioneros; e incluso 
como prisioneros no era posible verlos mas que 
unos segundos. Tampoco se sabla que haclan con 
ellos aparte de los ejecutados publicamente como 
criminales de guerra. Los demas se esfumaban, 
seguramente en los campos de trabajos forzados. 
Los redondos rostros mongolicos hablan dejado 
paso a los de tipo mas europeo, sucios, barbudos y 
exhaustos. Por encima de los salientes pomulos, los 
ojos de algunos miraban a los de Winston con una 
extrana intensidad y pasaban al instante. El convoy 
se estaba terminando. En el ultimo camion vio 
Winston a un anciano con la cara casi oculta por 
una masa de cabello, muy erguido y con los punos 
cruzados sobre el pecho. Daba la sensacion de estar 
acostumbrado a que lo ataran. Era imprescindible 
que Winston y la chica se separaran ya. Pero en el 
ultimo momento, mientras que la multitud los 
segufa apretando el uno contra el otro, ella le cogio 
la mano y se la estrecho. 

No habrfa durado aquello mas de diez segundos y, 
sin embargo, parecia que sus manos habian estado 
unidas durante una eternidad. Por lo menos, tuvo 
Winston tiempo sobrado para aprenderse de 
memoria todos los detalles de aquella mano de 
mujer. Exploro sus largos dedos, sus unas bien 
formadas, la palma endurecida por el trabajo con 
varios callos y la suavidad de la came junto a la 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


140 


the girl's eyes were. They were probably brown, but 
people with dark hair sometimes had blue eyes. To 
turn his head and look at her would have been 
inconceivable folly. With hands locked together, 
invisible among the press of bodies, they stared 
steadily in front of them, and instead of the eyes of 
the girl, the eyes of the aged prisoner gazed 
mournfully at Winston out of nests of hair. 


muneca. Solo con verla la habrfa reconocido, entre 
todas las manos. En ese instante se le ocurrio que 
no sabla de que color tenia ella los ojos. 
Probablemente, castanos, pero tambien es verdad 
que mucha gente de cabello negro tienen ojos 
azules. Volver la cabeza y mirarla hubiera sido una 
imperdonable locura. Mientras habla durado aquel 
apreton de manos invisible entre la presion de tanta 
gente, miraban ambos impasibles adelante y 
Winston, en vez de los ojos de ella, contemplo los 
del anciano prisionero que lo miraban con tristeza 
por entre sus grenas de pelo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


141 


Chapter 2 


Winston picked his way up the lane through 
dappled light and shade, stepping out into pools of 
gold wherever the boughs parted. Under the trees 
to the left of him the ground was misty with 
bluebells. The air seemed to kiss one's skin. It was 
the second of May. From somewhere deeper in the 
heart of the wood came the droning of ring-doves. 


He was a bit early. There had been no difficulties 
about the journey, and the girl was so evidently 
experienced that he was less frightened than he 
would normally have been. Presumably she could 
be trusted to find a safe place. In general you could 
not assume that you were much safer in the country 
than in London. There were no telescreens, of 
course, but there was always the danger of 
concealed microphones by which your voice might 
be picked up and recognized; besides, it was not 
easy to make a journey by yourself without 
attracting attention. For distances of less than 100 
kilometres it was not necessary to get your passport 
endorsed, but sometimes there were patrols 
hanging about the railway stations, who examined 
the papers of any Party member they found there 
and asked awkward questions. However, no patrols 
had appeared, and on the walk from the station he 
had made sure by cautious backward glances that 
he was not being followed. The train was full of 
proles, in holiday mood because of the summery 
weather. The wooden-seated carriage in which he 
travelled was filled to overflowing by a single 
enormous family, ranging from a toothless great- 
grandmother to a month-old baby, going out to 
spend an afternoon with 'in-laws' in the country, 
and, as they freely explained to Winston, to get 
hold of a little black-market butter. 


The lane widened, and in a minute he came to the 
footpath she had told him of, a mere cattle-track 
which plunged between the bushes. He had no 
watch, but it could not be fifteen yet. The bluebells 
were so thick underfoot that it was impossible not 
to tread on them. He knelt down and began picking 
some partly to pass the time away, but also from a 


CAPITULO II 


Winston emprendio la marcha por el campo. El 
aire parecia besar la piel. Era el segundo dia de 
mayo. Del corazon del bosque venia el arrullo de 
las palomas. 


Era un poco pronto. El viaje no le habia presentado 
dificultades y la muchacha era tan experimentada 
que le infundia a Winston una gran seguridad. 
Confiaba en que ella sabrfa escoger un sitio seguro. 
En general, no podia decirse que se estuviera mas 
seguro en el campo que en Londres. Desde luego, 
no habia telepantallas, pero siempre quedaba el 
peligro de los microfonos ocultos que recogian 
vuestra voz y la reconocian. Ademas, no era facil 
viajar individualmente sin llamar la atencion. Para 
distancias de menos de cien kilometros no se 
exigia visar los pasaportes, pero a veces vigilaban 
patrullas alrededor de la estaciones de ferrocarril y 
examinaban los documentos de todo miembro del 
Partido al que encontraran y le hacian dificiles 
preguntas. Sin embargo, Winston tuvo la suerte de 
no encontrar patrullas y desde que salio de la 
estacion se aseguro, mirando de vez en cuando 
cautamente hacia atras, de que no lo seguian. El 
tren iba lleno de proles con aire de vacaciones, 
quiza porque el tiempo parecia de verano. El vagon 
en que viajaba Winston llevaba asientos de madera 
y su compartimiento estaba ocupado casi por 
completo con una unica familia, desde la abuela, 
muy vieja y sin dientes, hasta un nino de un mes. 
Iban a pasar la tarde con unos parientes en el 
campo y, como le explicaron con toda libertad a 
Winston, para adquirir un poco de mantequilla en 
el mercado negro. 

Por fin, llego a la vereda que le habia dicho ella y 
siguio por alii entre los arbustos. No tenia reloj, 
pero no podian ser todavia las quince. Habia tantas 
flores silvestres, que le era imposible no pisarlas. 
Se arrodillo y empezo a coger algunas, en parte por 
echar algun tiempo fuera y tambien con la vaga 
idea de reunir un ramillete para ofrecerselo a la 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


142 


vague idea that he would like to have a bunch of 
flowers to offer to the girl when they met. He had 
got together a big bunch and was smelling their 
faint sickly scent when a sound at his back froze 
him, the unmistakable crackle of a foot on twigs. 
He went on picking bluebells. It was the best thing 
to do. It might be the girl, or he might have been 
followed after all. To look round was to show guilt. 
He picked another and another. A hand fell lightly 
on his shoulder. 


He looked up. It was the girl. She shook her head, 
evidently as a warning that he must keep silent, 
then parted the bushes and quickly led the way 
along the narrow track into the wood. Obviously 
she had been that way before, for she dodged the 
boggy bits as though by habit. Winston followed, 
still clasping his bunch of flowers. His first feeling 
was relief, but as he watched the strong slender 
body moving in front of him, with the scarlet sash 
that was just tight enough to bring out the curve of 
her hips, the sense of his own inferiority was heavy 
upon him. Even now it seemed quite likely that 
when she turned round and looked at him she 
would draw back after all. The sweetness of the air 
and the greenness of the leaves daunted him. 
Already on the walk from the station the May 
sunshine had made him feel dirty and etiolated, a 
creature of indoors, with the sooty dust of London 
in the pores of his skin. It occurred to him that till 
now she had probably never seen him in broad 
daylight in the open. They came to the fallen tree 
that she had spoken of. The girl hopped over and 
forced apart the bushes, in which there did not 
seem to be an opening. When Winston followed 
her, he found that they were in a natural clearing, a 
tiny grassy knoll surrounded by tall saplings that 
shut it in completely. The girl stopped and turned. 


Here we are,' she said. 


He was facing her at several paces' distance. As yet 
he did not dare move nearer to her. 


'I didn't want to say anything in the lane,' she went 


muchacha. Pronto formo un gran ramo y estaba 
oliendo su enfermizo aroma cuando se quedo 
helado al oir el inconfundible crujido de unos 
pasos tras el sobre las ramas secas. Siguio 
cogiendo florecillas. Era lo mejor que podia hacer. 
Quiza fuese la chica, pero tambien pudieran 
haberio seguido. Mirar para atras era mostrarse 
culpable. Todavia le dio tiempo de coger dos Lores 
mas. Una mano se le poso levemente sobre el 
hombro. 


Levanto la cabeza. Era la muchacha. Esta volvio la 
cabeza para prevenirle de que siguiera callado, 
luego aparto las ramas de los arbustos para abrir 
paso hacia el bosque. Era evidente que habia 
estado all! antes, pues sus movimientos eran los de 
una persona que tiene la costumbre de ir siempre 
por el mismo sitio. Winston la siguio sin soltar su 
ramo de Lores. Su primera sensacion fue de alivio, 
pero mientras contemplaba el cuerpo femenino, 
esbelto y fuerte a la vez, que se movia ante el, y se 
fijaba en el ancho cinturon rojo, lo bastante 
apretado para hacer resaltar la curva de sus 
caderas, empezo a sentir su propia inferioridad. 
Incluso ahora le parecia muy probable que cuando 
ella se volviera y lo mirara, lo abandonarfa. La 
dulzura del aire y el verdor de las hojas lo 
hechizaban. Ya cuando venia de la estacion, el sol 
de mayo le habia hecho sentirse sucio y gastado, 
una criatura de puertas adentro que llevaba pegado 
a la piel el polvo de Londres. Se le ocurrio pensar 
que hasta ahora no lo habia visto ella de cara a 
plena luz. Llegaron al arbol derribado del que la 
joven habia hablado. Esta salto por encima del 
tronco y, separando las grandes matas que lo 
rodeaban, paso a un pequeno claro. Winston, al 
seguirla, vio que el pequeno espacio estaba 
rodeado todo por arbustos y oculto por ellos. La 
muchacha se detuvo y, volviendose hacia el, le 
dijo: 


— Ya hemos llegado. 

Winston se hallaba a varios pasos de ella. Aun no 
se atrevia a acercarsela mas. 


— No quise hablar en la vereda — prosiguio ella 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


143 


on, 'in case there's a mike hidden there. I don't 
suppose there is, but there could be. There's always 
the chance of one of those swine recognizing your 
voice. We're all right here.' 


He still had not the courage to approach her. 'We're 
all right here?' he repeated stupidly. 


'Yes. Look at the trees.' They were small ashes, 
which at some time had been cut down and had 
sprouted up again into a forest of poles, none of 
them thicker than one's wrist. 'There's nothing big 
enough to hide a mikein. Besides, I've been here 
before.' 


They were only making conversation. He had 
managed to move closer to her now. She stood 
before him very upright, with a smile on her face 
that looked faintly ironical, as though she were 
wondering why he was so slow to act. The 
bluebells had cascaded on to the ground. They 
seemed to havefallen of their own accord. He took 
her hand. 


'Would you believe,' he said, 'that till this moment I 
didn't know what colour your eyes were?' They 
were brown, he noted, a rather light shade of 
brown, with dark lashes. 'Now that you've seen 
what I'm really like, can you still bear to look at 
me?' 


'Yes, easily.' 


'I'm thirty-nine years old. I've got a wife that I can't 
get rid of. I've got varicose veins. I've got five false 
teeth.' 


'I couldn't care less,' said the girl. 


The next moment, it was hard to say by whose act, 
she was in his his arms. At the beginning he had no 


— por si acaso habfa algun microfono escondido. 
No creo que lo haya, pero no es imposible. 
Siempre cabe la posibilidad de que uno de esos 
cerdos te reconozcan la voz. Aquf estamos bien. 

Todavfa le faltaba valor a Winston para acercarse a 
ella. Por eso, se limito a repetir tontamente: 

— Estamos bien aquf. 

— Sf. Mira los arboles eran unos arbolillos de 
ramas finfsimas — . No hay nada lo bastante grande 
para ocultar un micro. Ademas, ya he estado aquf 
antes. 


Solo hablaban. El se habfa decidido ya a acercarse 
mas a ella. Sonriente, con cierta ironfa en la 
expresion, la joven estaba muy derecha ante el 
como preguntandose por que tardaba tanto en 
empezar. El ramo de flores silvestre se habfa cafdo 
al suelo. Winston le cogio la mano. 


— ^Quieres creer — dijo — que hasta este 
momento no sabfa de que color tienes los ojos? — 
Eran castanos, bastante claros, con pestanas negras 
— . Ahora que me has visto a plena luz y cara a 
cara, ^puedes soportar mi presencia? 


— Sf, bastante bien. 


— Tengo treinta y nueve anos. Estoy casado y no 
me puedo librar de mi mujer. Tengo varices y 
cinco dientes postizos. 

— Todo eso no me importa en absoluto — dijo la 
muchacha. 


Un instante despues, sin saber como, se la encontro 
Winston en sus brazos. Al principio, su unica 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


144 


feeling except sheer incredulity. The youthful body 
was strained against his own, the mass of dark hair 
was against his face, and yes! actually she had 
turned her face up and he was kissing the wide red 
mouth. She had clasped her arms about his neck, 
she was calling him darling, precious one, loved 
one. He had pulled her down on to the ground, she 
was utterly unresisting, he could do what he liked 
with her. 

But the truth was that he had no physical sensation, 
except that of mere contact. All he felt was 
incredulity and pride. He was glad that this was 
happening, but he had no physical desire. It was 
too soon, her youth and prettiness had frightened 
him, he was too much used to living without 
women — he did not know the reason. The girl 
picked herself up and pulled a bluebell out of her 
hair. She sat against him, putting her arm round his 
waist. 


'Never mind, dear. There's no hurry. We've got the 
whole afternoon. Isn't this a splendid hide-out? I 
found it when I got lost once on a community hike. 
If anyone was coming you could hear them a 
hundred metres away.' 

'What is your name?' said Winston. 


'Julia. I know yours. It's Winston — Winston Smith.' 


'How did you find that out?' 


'I expect I'm better at finding things out than you 
are, dear. Tell me, what did you think of me before 
that day I gave you the note?' 


He did not feel any temptation to tell lies to her. It 
was even a sort of love-offering to start off by 
telling the worst. 


sensacion era de incredulidad. El juvenil cuerpo se 
apretaba contra el suyo y la masa de cabello negro 
le daba en la cara y, aunque le pareciera increfble, 
le acercaba su boca y el la besaba. Sf, estaba 
besando aquella boca grande y roja. Ella le echo 
los brazos al cuello y empezo a llamarle «querido, 
amor mlo, precioso...». Winston la tendio en el 
suelo. Ella no se resistio; podia hacer con ella lo 
que quisiera. 

Pero la verdad era que no sentfa ningun impulso 
ffsico, ninguna sensacion aparte de la del abrazo. 
Le dominaban la incredulidad y el orgullo. Se 
alegraba de que esto ocurriera, pero no tenia deseo 
ffsico alguno. Era demasiado pronto. La juventud y 
la belleza de aquel cuerpo le habfan asustado; 
estaba demasiado acostumbrado a vivir sin 
mujeres. Quiza fuera por alguna de estas razones o 
quiza por alguna otra desconocida. La joven se 
levanto y se sacudio del cabello una florecilla que 
se le habfa quedado prendida en el. Sentose junto a 
el y le rodeo la cintura con su brazo. 

— No te preocupes, querido, no hay prisa. 
Tenemos toda la tarde. ^Verdad que es un 
escondite magnffico? Me perdf una vez en una 
excursion colectiva y descubrf este lugar. Si viniera 
alguien, lo oirfamos a cien metros. 

— ^Como te llamas? — dijo Winston. 

— Julia. Tu nombre ya lo conozco. Winston... 
Winston Smith. 


— (■ Como te enteraste? 

— Creo que tengo mas habilidad que tu para 
descubrir cosas, querido. Dime, «-,que pensaste de 
mf antes de darte aquel papelito? 

Winston no tuvo ni la menor tentacion de mentirle. 
Era una especie de ofrenda amorosa empezar 
confesando lo peor. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


145 


'I hated the sight of you,' he said. 'I wanted to rape 
you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks 
ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in 
with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I 
imagined that you had something to do with the 
Thought Police.' 


The girl laughed delightedly, evidently taking this 
as a tribute to the excellence of her disguise. 


'Not the Thought Police! You didn't honestly think 
that?' 


'Well, perhaps not exactly that. But from your 
general appearance — merely because you're young 
and fresh and healthy, you understand — I thought 
that probably — ' 


'You thought I was a good Party member. Pure in 
word and deed. Banners, processions, slogans, 
games, community hikes all that stuff. And you 
thought that if I had a quarter of a chance I'd 
denounce you as a thought-criminal and get you 
killed off?' 


'Yes, something of that kind. A great many young 
girls are like that, you know.' 


'It's this bloody thing that does it,' she said, ripping 
off the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League 
and flinging it on to a bough. Then, as though 
touching her waist had reminded her of something, 
she felt in the pocket of her overalls and produced 
a small slab of chocolate. She broke it in half and 
gave one of the pieces to Winston. Even before he 
had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very 
unusual chocolate. It was dark and shiny, and was 
wrapped in silver paper. Chocolate normally was 
dull-brown crumbly stuff that tasted, as nearly as 
one could describe it, like the smoke of a rubbish 
fire. But at some time or another he had tasted 
chocolate like the piece she had given him. The 
first whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory 
which he could not pin down, but which was 


— Te odiaba. Querfa abusar de ti y luego 
asesinarle. Hace dos semanas pense seriamente 
romperte la cabeza con una piedra. Si quieres 
saberlo, te dire que te creia en relacion con la 
Policia del Pensamiento. 


La muchacha se reia encantada, tomando aquello 
como un piropo por lo bien que se habia 
disfrazado. 


— [La Policla del Pensamiento!, que ocurrencias. 
No es posible que lo creyeras. 

— Bueno, quiza no fuera exactamente eso. Pero, 
por tu aspecto... quiza por tu juventud y por lo 
saludable que eres; en fin, ya comprendes, crel que 
probablemente... 

— Pensaste que era una excelente afiliada. Pura en 
palabras y en hechos. Estandartes, desfiles, 
consignas, excursiones colectivas y todo eso. Y 
crelste que a las primeras de cambio te denunciarla 
como criminal mental y harla que te mataran. 


— SI, algo asl... Ya sabes que muchas chicas son 
de ese modo. 


— La culpa la tiene esa porquerla — dijo Julia 
quitandose el cinturon rojo de la liga Anti — Sex y 
tirandolo a una rama, donde quedo colgado. Luego, 
como si el tocarse la cintura le hubiera recordado 
algo, saco del bolsillo de su «mono» una tableta de 
chocolate. La partio por la mitad y le dio a Winston 
uno de los pedazos. Antes de probarlo, ya sabla el 
por el olor que era un chocolate muy poco 
frecuente. Era oscuro y brillante, envuelto en papel 
de plata. El chocolate, corrientemente, era de un 
color castano claro y desmigajaba con gran 
facilidad; y en cuanto a su sabor, era algo asi como 
el del humo de la goma quemada. Pero alguna vez 
habia probado chocolate como el que ella le daba 
ahora. Su aroma le habia despertado recuerdos que 
no podia localizar, pero que lo turbaban 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


146 


powerful and troubling. 


'Where did you get this stuff?' he said. 


'Black market,' she said indifferently. 'Actually I 
am that sort of girl, to look at. I'm good at games. I 
was a troop-leader in the Spies. I do voluntary 
work three evenings a week for the Junior Anti-Sex 
League. Hours and hours I've spent pasting their 
bloody rot all over London. I always carry one end 
of a banner in the processions. I always look 
cheerful and I never shirk anything. Always yell 
with the crowd, that's what I say. It's the only way 
to be safe.' 


The first fragment of chocolate had melted on 
Winston's tongue. The taste was delightful. But 
there was still that memory moving round the 
edges of his consciousness, something strongly felt 
but not reducible to definite shape, like an object 
seen out of the corner of one's eye. He pushed it 
away from him, aware only that it was the memory 
of some action which he would have liked to undo 
but could not. 


'You are very young,' he said. 'You are ten or 
fifteen years younger than I am. What could you 
see to attract you in a man like me?' 


'It was something in your face. I thought I'd take a 
chance. I'm good at spotting people who don't 
belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were 
against THEM.' 


THEM, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all 
the Inner Party, about whom she talked with an 
open jeering hatred which made Winston feel 
uneasy, although he knew that they were safe here 
if they could be safe anywhere. A thing that 
astonished him about her was the coarseness of her 
language. Party members were supposed not to 
swear, and Winston himself very seldom did swear, 
aloud, at any rate. Julia, however, seemed unable to 
mention the Party, and especially the Inner Party, 


intensamente. 


— I Dondc encontraste esto? — dijo. 

— En el mercado negro — dijo ella con 
indiferencia. Yo me las arreglo bastante bien. Fui 
jefe de section en los Esplas. Trabajo 
voluntariamente tres tardes a la semana en la Liga 
juvenil Anti — Sex. Me he pasado horas y horas 
desfilando por Londres. Siempre soy yo la que 
lleva uno de los estandartes. Pongo muy buena cara 
y nunca intento librarme de una lata. Mi lema es 
«grita siempre con los demas». Es el unico modo 
de estar seguros. 

El primer trocito de chocolate se le habla derretido 
a Winston en la lengua. Su sabor era delicioso. 
Pero le segula rondando aquel recuerdo que no 
podia fijar, algo as! como un objeto visto por el 
rabillo del ojo. Hizo por librarse de el quedandole 
la sensation de que se trataba de algo que el habla 
hecho en tiempos y que hubiera preferido no haber 
hecho. 


— Eres muy joven — dijo — . Debes de ser unos 
diez o quince anos mas joven que yo. <-,Que has 
podido ver en un hombre como yo que te haya 
atraldo? 


— Algo en tu cara. Me decidl a arriesgarme. 
Conozco en seguida a la gente de la acera de 
enfrente. En cuanto te vi supe que estabas contra 
ellos. 


Elios , por lo visto, querla decir el Partido, y sobre 
todo el Partido Interior, sobre el cual hablaba Julia 
con un odio manifiesto que intranquilizaba a 
Winston, aunque sabla que aquel sitio en que se 
hallaban era uno de los poqulsimos lugares donde 
nada tenlan que temer. Le asombraba la rudeza con 
que hablaba Julia. Se suponla que los miembros del 
Partido no declan palabrotas, y el propio Winston 
apenas las decla como no fuera entre dientes. Sin 
embargo, Julia no podia nombrar al Partido, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


147 


without using the kind of words that you saw 
chalked up in dripping alley- ways. He did not 
dislike it. It was merely one symptom of her revolt 
against the Party and all its ways, and somehow it 
seemed natural and healthy, like the sneeze of a 
horse that smells bad hay. They had left the 
clearing and were wandering again through the 
chequered shade, with their arms round each 
other's waists whenever it was wide enough to 
walk two abreast. He noticed how much softer her 
waist seemed to feel now that the sash was gone. 
They did not speak above a whisper. Outside the 
clearing, Julia said, it was better to go quietly. 
Presently they had reached the edge of the little 
wood. She stopped him. 


'Don't go out into the open. There might be 
someone watching. We're all right if we keep 
behind the boughs.' 


They were standing in the shade of hazel bushes. 
The sunlight, filtering through innumerable leaves, 
was still hot on their faces. Winston looked out into 
the field beyond, and underwent a curious, slow 
shock of recognition. He knew it by sight. An old, 
close-bitten pasture, with a footpath wandering 
across it and a molehill here and there. In the 
ragged hedge on the opposite side the boughs of 
the elm trees swayed just perceptibly in the breeze, 
and their leaves stirred faintly in dense masses like 
women's hair. Surely somewhere nearby, but out of 
sight, there must be a stream with green pools 
where dace were swimming? 

'Isn't there a stream somewhere near here?' he 
whispered. 

'That's right, there is a stream. It's at the edge of the 
next field, actually. There are fish in it, great big 
ones. You can watch them lying in the pools under 
the willow trees, waving their tails.' 


'It's the Golden Country — almost,' he murmured. 


especialmente al Partido Interior, sin usar palabras 
de esas que solfan aparecer escritas con tiza en los 
callejones solitarios. A el no le disgustaba eso, 
puesto que era un smtoma de la rebelion de la 
joven contra el Partido y sus metodos. Y semejante 
actitud resultaba natural y saludable, como el 
estomudo de un caballo que huele mala avena. 
Hablan salido del claro y paseaban por entre los 
arbustos. Iban cogidos de la cintura siempre que 
tenfan sitio suficiente para pasar los dos juntos. 
Noto que la cintura de Julia resultaba mucho mas 
suave ahora que se habfa quitado el cinturon. 
Segufan hablando en voz muy baja. Fuera del 
claro, dijo Julia, era mejor ir con prudencia. 
Llegaron hasta la linde del bosquecillo. Ella lo 
detuvo. 


— No saigas a campo abierto. Podrfa haber alguien 
que nos viera. Estaremos mejor detras de las 
ramas. 


Y permanecieron a la sombra de los arbustos. La 
luz del sol, filtrandose por las innumerables hojas, 
les segula caldeando el rostra. Winston observo el 
campo que los rodeaba y experimento, poco a 
poco, la curiosa sensacion de reconocer aquel 
lugar. Era tierra de pastos, con un sendero que la 
cruzaba y alguna pequena elevacion de cuando en 
cuando. En la valla, medio rota, que se vela al otro 
lado, se divisaban las ramas de unos olmos que se 
balanceaban con la brisa, y sus hojas se movfan en 
densas masas como cabelleras femeninas. 
Seguramente por all! cerca, pero fuera de su vista, 
habrfa un arrayuelo. 

— ^No hay por aquf cerca un arroyo? — murmura. 


— SI lo hay. Esta al borde del terreno colindante 
con este. Hay peces, muy grandes por cierto. Se 
puede verlos en las charcas que se forman bajo los 
sauces. 


— Es el Pals Dorado... casi — murmura. 



148 


George Orwell 
'The Golden Country?' 

'It's nothing, really. A landscape I've seen 
sometimes in a dream.' 


'Look!' whispered Julia. 

A thrush had alighted on a bough not five metres 
away, almost at the level of their faces. Perhaps it 
had not seen them. It was in the sun, they in the 
shade. It spread out its wings, fitted them carefully 
into place again, ducked its head for a moment, as 
though making a sort of obeisance to the sun, and 
then began to pour forth a torrent of song. In the 
afternoon hush the volume of sound was startling. 
Winston and Julia clung together, fascinated. The 
music went on and on, minute after minute, with 
astonishing variations, never once repeating itself, 
almost as though the bird were deliberately 
showing off its virtuosity. Sometimes it stopped for 
a few seconds, spread out and resettled its wings, 
then swelled its speckled breast and again burst 
into song. Winston watched it with a sort of vague 
reverence. For whom, for what, was that bird 
singing? No mate, no rival was watching it. What 
made it sit at the edge of the lonely wood and pour 
its music into nothingness? He wondered whether 
after all there was a microphone hidden somewhere 
near. He and Julia had spoken only in low 
whispers, and it would not pick up what they had 
said, but it would pick up the thrush. Perhaps at the 
other end of the instrument some small, beetle-like 
man was listening intently — listening to that. But 
by degrees the flood of music drove all 
speculations out of his mind. It was as though it 
were a kind of liquid stuff that poured all over him 
and got mixed up with the sunlight that filtered 
through the leaves. He stopped thinking and merely 
felt. The girl's waist in the bend of his arm was soft 
and warm. He pulled her round so that they were 
breast to breast; her body seemed to melt into his. 
Wherever his hands moved it was all as yielding as 
water. Their mouths clung together; it was quite 
different from the hard kisses they had exchanged 
earlier. When they moved their faces apart again 
both of them sighed deeply. The bird took fright 
and fled with a clatter of wings. 


19 8 4 

— ^E1 Pais Dorado? 

— No tiene importancia. Es un paisaje que he visto 
algunas veces en suenos. 

— [Mira! — susurro Julia. 

Un pajaro se habla movido en una rama a unos 
cinco metros de ellos y casi al nivel de sus caras. 
Quiza no los hubiera visto. Estaba en el sol y ellos 
a la sombra. Extendio las alas, volvio a 
colocarselas cuidadosamente en su sitio, inclino la 
cabecita un momento, como si saludara 
respetuosamente al sol y empezo a cantar 
torrencialmente. En el silencio de la tarde, 
sobrecogla el volumen de aquel sonido. Winston y 
Julia se abrazaron fascinados. La musica del ave 
continuo, minuto tras minuto, con asombrosas 
variaciones y sin repetirse nunca, casi como si 
estuviera demostrando a proposito su virtuosismo. 
A veces se detenia unos segundos, extendla y 
recogla sus alas, luego hinchaba su pecho moteado 
y empezaba de nuevo su concierto. Winston lo 
contemplaba con un vago respeto. ^Para quien, 
para que cantaba aquel pajaro? No tenia pareja ni 
rival que lo contemplaran. ^Que le impulsaba a 
estarse alll, al borde del bosque solitario, 
regalandole su musica al vaclo? Se pregunto si no 
habrla algun microfono escondido alll cerca. Julia 
y el hablan hablado solo en murmullo, y ningiin 
aparato podrla registrar lo que ellos hablan dicho, 
pero si el canto del pajaro. Quizas al otro extremo 
del instrumento algun hombrecillo mecanizado 
estuviera escuchando con toda atencion; si, 
escuchando aquello. Gradualmente la musica del 
ave fue despertando en el sus pensamientos. Era 
como un llquido que saliera de se mezclara con la 
luz del sol, que se filtraba por entre hojas. Dejo de 
pensar y se limito a sentir. La cintura de la 
muchacha bajo su brazo era suave y calida. Le dio 
la vuelta hasta quedar abrazados cara a cara. El 
cuerpo de Julia parecla fundirse con el suyo. 
Donde quiera que tocaran sus manos, cedla todo 
como si fuera agua. Sus bocas se unieron con besos 
muy distintos de los duros besos que se hablan 
dado antes. Cuando volvieron a apartar sus rostros, 
suspiraron ambos profundamente. El pajaro se 
asusto y salio volando con un aleteo alarmado. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


149 


Winston put his lips against her ear. 'NOW,' he 
whispered. 


'Not here,' she whispered back. 'Come back to the 
hide-out. It's safer.' 


Quickly, with an occasional crackle of twigs, they 
threaded their way back to the clearing. When they 
were once inside the ring of saplings she turned 
and faced him. They were both breathing fast, but 
the smile had reappeared round the corners of her 
mouth. She stood looking at him for an instant, 
then felt at the zipper of her overalls. And, yes! it 
was almost as in his dream. Almost as swiftly as he 
had imagined it, she had torn her clothes off, and 
when she flung them aside it was with that same 
magnificent gesture by which a whole civilization 
seemed to be annihilated. Her body gleamed white 
in the sun. But for a moment he did not look at her 
body; his eyes were anchored by the freckled face 
with its faint, bold smile. He knelt down before her 
and took her hands in his. 


'Have you done this before?' 


'Of course. Hundreds of times — well, scores of 
times, anyway.' 


'With Party members?' 


'Yes, always with Party members.' 


'With members of the Inner Party?' 

'Not with those swine, no. But there's plenty that 
WOULD if they got half a chance. They're not so 
holy as they make out.' 

His heart leapt. Scores of times she had done it: he 


Rapidamente, sin poder evitar el crujido de las 
ramas bajo sus pies, regresaron al claro. Cuando 
estuvieron ya en su refugio, se volvio Julia hacia el 
y lo miro fijamente. Los dos respiraban 
pesadamente, pero la sonrisa habia desaparecido en 
las comisuras de sus labios. Estaban de pie y ella lo 
miro por un instante y luego tanteo la cremallera de 
su nono con las manos. ; SI! jFue casi como en un 
sueno! Casi tan velozmente como el se lo habia 
imaginado, ella se arranco la ropa y cuando la tiro 
a un lado fue con el mismo magnffico gesto con el 
cual toda una civilizacion parecia anihilarse. Su 
bianco cuerpo brillaba al sol. Por un momento el 
no miro su cuerpo. Sus ojos habian buscado 
ancoraje en el pecoso rostro con su debil y franca 
sonrisa. Se arrodillo ante ella y tomo sus manos 
entre las suyas. 

— <^Has hecho esto antes? 

— Claro. Cientos de veces. Bueno, muchas veces. 


— <;Con miembros del Partido? 

— Si, siempre con miembros del Partido. 

— I Con miembros del Partido del Interior? 

— No, con esos cerdos no. Pero muchos lo harian 
si pudieran. No son tan sagrados como pretenden. 


Su corazon dio un salto. Lo habia hecho muchas 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


150 


wished it had been hundreds — thousands. Anything 
that hinted at corruption always filled him with a 
wild hope. Who knew, perhaps the Party was rotten 
under the surface, its cult of strenuousness and self- 
denial simply a sham concealing iniquity. If he 
could have infected the whole lot of them with 
leprosy or syphilis, how gladly he would have done 
so! Anything to rot, to weaken, to undermine! He 
pulled her down so that they were kneeling face to 
face. 


'Listen. The more men you've had, the more I love 
you. Do you understandthat?' 


'Yes, perfectly.' 

'I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want any 
virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be 
corrupt to the bones.' 

'Well then, I ought to suit you, dear. I'm corrupt to 
the bones.' 


'You like doing this? I don't mean simply me: I 
mean the thing in itself?' 


'I adore it.' 


That was above all what he wanted to hear. Not 
merely the love of one person but the animal 
instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was 
the force that would tear the Party to pieces. He 
pressed her down upon the grass, among the fallen 
bluebells. This time there was no difficulty. 
Presently the rising and falling of their breasts 
slowed to normal speed, and in a sort of pleasant 
helplessness they fell apart. The sun seemed to 
have grown hotter. They were both sleepy. He 
reached out for the discarded overalls and pulled 
them partly over her. Almost immediately they fell 
asleep and slept for about half an hour. 


Winston woke first. He sat up and watched the 


veces. Todo lo que oliera a corrupcion le llenaba 
de una esperanza salvaje. Quien sabe, tal vez el 
Partido estaba podrido bajo la superficie, su culto 
de fuerza y autocontrol no era mas que una trampa 
tapando la iniquidad. Si hubiera podido 
contagiarlos a todos con la lepra o la sffilis, jeon 
que alegrfa lo hubiera hecho! Cualquier cosa con 
tal de podrir, de debilitar, de minar. 

La atrajo hacia sf, de modo que quedaron de 
rodillas frente a frente. 


— Oye, cuantos mas hombres hayas tenido mas te 
quiero yo. ^Lo comprendes? 


— Sf, perfectamente. 

— Odio la pureza, odio la bondad. No quiero que 
exista ninguna virtud en ninguna parte. Quiero que 
todo el mundo este corrompido hasta los huesos. 

— Pues bien, debo irte bien, carino. Estoy 
corrompida hasta los huesos. 

— ^Te gusta hacer esto? No quiero decir 
simplemente yo, me refiero a la cosa en si. 

— Lo adoro. 


Esto era sobre todas las cosas lo que querfa ofr. No 
simplemente el amor por una persona sino el 
instinto animal, el simple indiferenciado deseo. 
Esta era la fuerza que destruirfa al Partido. La 
empujo contra la hierba entre las campanillas 
azules. Esta vez no hubo dificultad. El movimiento 
de sus pechos fue bajando hasta la velocidad 
normal y con un movimiento de desamparo se 
fueron separando. El sol parecfa haber 
intensificado su calor. Los dos estaban 
adormilados. El alcanzo su desechado mono y la 
cubrio parcialmente. 


Al poco tiempo se durmieron profundamente. Al 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


151 


freckled face, still peacefully asleep, pillowed on 
the palm of her hand. Except for her mouth, you 
could not call her beautiful. There was a line or two 
round the eyes, if you looked closely. The short 
dark hair was extraordinarily thick and soft. It 
occurred to him that he still did not know her 
surname or where she lived. 


The young, strong body, now helpless in sleep, 
awoke in him a pitying, protecting feeling. But the 
mindless tenderness that he had felt under the hazel 
tree, while the thrush was singing, had not quite 
come back. He pulled the overalls aside and 
studied her smooth white flank. In the old days, he 
thought, a man looked at a girl's body and saw that 
it was desirable, and that was the end of the story. 
But you could not have pure love or pure lust 
nowadays. No emotion was pure, because 
everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. 
Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a 
victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It 
was a political act. 


cabo de media hora se desperto Winston. Se 
incorporo y contemplo a Julia, que seguia 
durmiendo tranquilamente con su cara pecosa en la 
palma de la mano. Aparte de la boca, sus facciones 
no eran hermosas. Si se miraba con atencion, se 
descubrfan unas pequenas arrugas en tomo a los 
ojos. El cabello negro y corto era 
extraordinariamente abundante y suave. Penso 
entonces que todavia ignoraba el apellido y el 
domicilio de ella. 


Este cuerpo joven y vigoroso, desamparado ahora 
en el sueno, desperto en el un compasivo y 
protector sentimiento. Pero la ternura que habia 
sentido mientras escuchaba el canto del pajaro 
habia desaparecido ya. Le aparto el mono a un lado 
y estudio su cadera. En los viejos tiempos, penso, 
un hombre miraba el cuerpo de una muchacha y 
vela que era deseable y aqui se acababa la historia. 
Pero ahora no se podia sentir amor puro o deseo 
puro. Ninguna emocion era pura porque todo 
estaba mezclado con el miedo y el odio. Su abrazo 
habia sido una batalla, el climax una victoria. Era 
un golpe contra el Partido. Era un acto politico. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


152 


Chapter 3 

'We can come here once again,' said Julia. 'It's 
generally safe to use any hide-out twice. But not 
for another month or two, of course.' 


As soon as she woke up her demeanour had 
changed. She became alert and business-like, put 
her clothes on, knotted the scarlet sash about her 
waist, and began arranging the details of the 
journey home. It seemed natural to leave this to 
her. She obviously had a practical cunning which 
Winston lacked, and she seemed also to have an 
exhaustive knowledge of the countryside round 
London, stored away from innumerable community 
hikes. The route she gave him was quite different 
from the one by which he had come, and brought 
him out at a different railway station. 'Never go 
home the same way as you went out,' she said, as 
though enunciating an important general principle. 
She would leave first, and Winston was to wait half 
an hour before following her. 


She had named a place where they could meet after 
work, four evenings hence. It was a street in one of 
the poorer quarters, where there was an open 
market which was generally crowded and noisy. 
She would be hanging about among the stalls, 
pretending to be in search of shoelaces or sewing- 
thread. If she judged that the coast was clear she 
would blow her nose when he approached; 
otherwise he was to walk past her without 
recognition. But with luck, in the middle of the 
crowd, it would be safe to talk for a quarter of an 
hour and arrange another meeting. 


'And now I must go,' she said as soon as he had 
mastered his instructions. 'I'm due back at nineteen- 
thirty. I've got to put in two hours for the Junior 
Anti-Sex League, handing out leaflets, or 
something. Isn't it bloody? Give me a brush-down, 
would you? Have I got any twigs in my hair? Are 
you sure? Then good-bye, my love, good-bye!' 


CAPITULO III 


— Podemos volver a este sitio — propuso Julia 
— . En general, puede emplearse dos veces el 
mismo escondite con tal de que se deje pasar uno 
o dos meses. 


En cuanto se desperto, la conducta de Julia habia 
cambiado. Tenia ya un aire prevenido y frio. Se 
vistio, se puso el cinturon rojo y empezo a 
planear el viaje de regreso. A Winston le parecia 
natural que ella se encargara de esto. 
Evidentemente poseia una habilidad para todo lo 
practico que Winston carecia y tambien parecia 
tener un conocimiento completo del campo que 
rodeaba a Londres. Lo habia aprendido a fuerza 
de tomar parte en excursiones colectivas. La ruta 
que le senalo era por completo distinta de la que 
el habia seguido al venir, y le conducia a otra 
estacion. «Nunca hay que regresar por el mismo 
camino de ida», sentencio ella, como si expresara 
un importante principio general. Ella partiria 
antes y Winston esperana media hora para 
emprender la marcha a su vez. 

Habia nombrado Julia un sitio donde podian 
encontrarse, despues de trabajar, cuatro dias mas 
tarde. Era una calle en uno de los barrios mas 
pobres donde habia un mercado con mucha gente 
y ruido. Estarfa por alii, entre los puestos, como 
si buscara cordones para los zapatos o hilo de 
coser. Si le parecia que no habia peligro se 
llevaria el panuelo a la nariz cuando se acercara 
Winston. En caso contrario, sacaria el panuelo. 
El pas aria a su lado sin mirarla. Pero con un poco 
de suerte, en medio de aquel gentio podrian 
hablar tranquilos durante un cuarto de hora y 
ponerse de acuerdo para otra cita. 

— Ahora tengo que irme — dijo la muchacha en 
cuanto vio que el se habia enterado bien de sus 
instrucciones — . Debo estar de vuelta a las 
diecinueve treinta. Tengo que dedicarme dos 
horas a la Liga Anti — Sex repartiendo folletos o 
algo por el estilo. ^Verdad que es un asco? 
Sacudeme con las manos. ^Estas seguro de que 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


153 


She flung herself into his arms, kissed him almost 
violently, and a momentl ater pushed her way 
through the saplings and disappeared into the wood 
with very little noise. Even now he had not found 
out her surname or her address. However, it made 
no difference, for it was inconceivable that they 
could ever meet indoors or exchange any kind of 
written communication. 


As it happened, they never went back to the 
clearing in the wood. During the month of May 
there was only one further occasion on which they 
actually succeeded in making love. That was in 
another hiding-place known to Julia, the belfry of a 
ruinous church in an almost-deserted stretch of 
country where an atomic bomb had fallen thirty 
years earlier. It was a good hiding-place when once 
you got there, but the getting there was very 
dangerous. For the rest they could meet only in the 
streets, in a different place every evening and never 
for more than half an hour at a time. In the street it 
was usually possible to talk, after a fashion. As 
they drifted down the crowded pavements, not 
quite abreast and never looking at one another, they 
carried on a curious, intermittent conversation 
which flicked on and off like the beams of a 
lighthouse, suddenly nipped into silence by the 
approach of a Party uniform or the proximity of a 
telescreen, then taken up again minutes later in the 
middle of a sentence, then abruptly cut short as 
they parted at the agreed spot, then continued 
almost without introduction on the following day. 
Julia appeared to be quite used to this kind of 
conversation, which she called 'talking by 
instalments'. She was also surprisingly adept at 
speaking without moving her lips. Just once in 
almost a month of nightly meetings they managed 
to exchange a kiss. They were passing in silence 
down a side-street (Julia would never speak when 
they were away from the main streets) when there 
was a deafening roar, the earth heaved, and the air 
darkened, and Winston found himself lying on his 
side, bruised and terrified. A rocket bomb must 
have dropped quite near at hand. Suddenly he 
became aware of Julia's face a few centimetres 
from his own, deathly white, as white as chalk. 


no tengo briznas en el cabello? [Bueno, adios, 
amor mfo; adios! 


Se arrojo en sus brazos, lo beso casi 
violentamente, poco despues desaparecfa por el 
bosque sin hacer apenas ruido. Incluso ahora 
segufa sin saber como se llamaba de apellido ni 
donde vivfa. Sin embargo, era igual, pues 
resultaba inconcebible que pudieran citarse en 
lugar cerrado ni escribirse. 


Nunca volvieron al bosquecillo. Durante el mes 
de marzo solo tuvieron una ocasion de estar 
juntos de aquella manera. Fue en otro escondite 
que conocfa Julia, el campanario de una ruinosa 
iglesia en una zona casi desierta donde una 
bomba atamica habfa cafdo treinta anos antes. 
Era un buen escondite una vez que se llegaba 
allf, pero era muy peligroso, el viaje. Aparte de 
eso, se vieron por las calles en un sitio diferente 
cada tarde y nunca mas de media hora cada vez. 
En la calle era posible hablarse de cierra manera 
mezclados con la multitud, juntos, pero dando la 
impresion de que era el movimiento de la masa 
lo que les hacfa estar tan cerca y teniendo buen 
cuidado de no mirarse nunca, podfan sostener 
una curiosa e intermitente conversacion que se 
encendfa y apagaba como los rayos de luz de un 
faro. En cuanto se aproximaba un uniforme del 
Partido o cafan cerca de una telepantalla, se 
callaban inmediatamente. Y reanudaban 
conversacion minutos despues, empezando a la 
mitad de una frase que habfan dejado sin 
terminar, y luego volvfan a cortar en seco cuando 
les llegaba el momenta de separarse. Y al dfa, 
siguiente segufan hablando sin mas preliminares. 
Julia parecfa estar muy acostumbrada a esta clase 
de conversacion, que ella llamaba «hablar por 
folletones». Tenfa ademas una sorprenden 
habilidad para hablar sin mover los labios, Una 
sola vez en un mes de encuentros noctumos 
consiguieron darse un beso. Pasaban en silencio 
por una calle. Julia nunca hablaba cuando 
estaban lejos de las calles principals y en ese 
momento oyeron un ruido ensordecedor, la tierra 
temblo y se oscurecio la atmosfera. Winston se 
encontro tendido al lado de Julia — magullado 
— con un terrible panico. Una bomba cohete 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


154 


Even her lips were white. She was dead! He 
clasped her against him and found that he was 
kissing a live warm face. But there was some 
powdery stuff that got in the way of his lips. Both 
of their faces were thickly coated with plaster. 


There were evenings when they reached their 
rendezvous and then had to walk past one another 
without a sign, because a patrol had just come 
round the comer or a helicopter was hovering 
overhead. Even if it had been less dangerous, it 
would still have been difficult to find time to meet. 
Winston's working week was sixty hours, Julia's 
was even longer, and their free days varied 
according to the pressure of work and did not often 
coincide. Julia, in any case, seldom had an evening 
completely free. She spent an astonishing amount 
of time in attending lectures and demonstrations, 
distributing literature for the junior Anti-Sex 
League, preparing banners for Hate Week, making 
collections for the savings campaign, and such-like 
activities. It paid, she said, it was camouflage. If 
you kept the small rules, you could break the big 
ones. She even induced Winston to mortgage yet 
another of his evenings by enrolling himself for the 
part-time munition work which was done 
voluntarily by zealous Party members. So, one 
evening every week, Winston spent four hours of 
paralysing boredom, screwing together small bits 
of metal which were probably parts of bomb fuses, 
in a draughty, ill-lit workshop where the knocking 
of hammers mingled drearily with the music of the 
telescreens. 


When they met in the church tower the gaps in 
their fragmentary conversation were filled up. It 
was a blazing afternoon. The air in the little square 
chamber above the bells was hot and stagnant, and 
smelt overpoweringly of pigeon dung. They sat 


habia estallado muy cerca. De pronto se dio 
cuenta de que tenia junto a la suya cara de Julia. 
Estaba palidisima, hasta los labios los tenia 
blancos. No era palidez, sino una blancura de sal. 
Winston creyo que estaba muerta. La abrazo en 
el suelo y se sorprendio de estar besando un 
rostra vivo y calido. Es que se le habia llenado la 
cara del yeso pulverizado por la explosion. Tenia 
la cara completamente blanca. 

Algunas tardes, a ultima hora, llegaban al sitio 
convenido y tenian que andar a cierta distancia 
uno del otro sin dar la menor serial de 
reconocerse porque habia aparecido una patrulla 
por una esquina o volaba sobre ellos un autogiro. 
Aunque hubiera sido menos peligroso verse, 
siempre habrian tenido a dificultad del tiempo. 
Winston trabajaba sesenta horas a la semana y 
Julia todavia mas. Los dias libres de ambos 
variaban segun las necesidades del trabajo y no 
solian coincidir. Desde luego, Julia tenia muy 
pocas veces una tarde Ubre por completo. Pasaba 
muchisimo tiempo asistiendo a conferencias y 
manifestaciones, distribuyendo propaganda para 
la Liga juvenil Anti-Sex, preparando banderas y 
estandartes para la Semana del Odio, recogiendo 
dinero para la Campana del Ahorro y en 
actividades semejantes. Aseguraba que merecia 
la pena darse ese trabajo suplementario; era un 
camuflaje. Si se observaban las pequenas reglas 
se podian infringir las grandes. Julia indujo a 
Winston a que dedicara otra de sus tardes como 
voluntario en la fabricacion de municiones como 
solian hacer los mas entusiastas miembros del 
Partido. De manera que una tarde cada semana se 
pasaba Winston cuatro horas de aburrimiento 
insoportable atornillando dos pedacitos de metal 
que probablemente formaban parte de una 
bomba. Este trabajo en serie lo realizaban en un 
taller donde los martillazos se mezclaban 
espantosamente con la musica de la telepantalla. 
El taller estaba lleno de corrientes de aire y muy 
mal iluminado. 


Cuando se reunieron en las ruinas del 
campanario llenaron todos los huecos de sus 
conversaciones anteriores. Era una tarde 
achicharrante. El aire del pequeno espacio sobre 
las campanas era ardiente e irrespirable y olia de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


155 


talking for hours on the dusty, twig-littered floor, 
one or other of them getting up from time to time 
to cast a glance through the arrowslits and make 
sure that no one was coming. 


Julia was twenty-six years old. She lived in a hostel 
with thirty other girls ('Always in the stink of 
women! How I hate women!' she said 
parenthetically), and she worked, as he had 
guessed, on the novel-writing machines in the 
Fiction Department. She enjoyed her work, which 
consisted chiefly in running and servicing a 
powerful but tricky electric motor. She was 'not 
clever', but was fond of using her hands and felt at 
home with machinery. She could describe the 
whole process of composing a novel, from the 
general directive issued by the Planning Committee 
down to the final touching-up by the Rewrite 
Squad. But she was not interested in the finished 
product. She 'didn't much care for reading,' she 
said. Books were just a commodity that had to be 
produced, like jam or bootlaces. 


She had no memories of anything before the early 
sixties and the only person she had ever known 
who talked frequently of the days before the 
Revolution was a grandfather who had disappeared 
when she was eight. At school she had been captain 
of the hockey team and had won the gymnastics 
trophy two years running. She had been a troop- 
leader in the Spies and a branch secretary in the 
Youth League before joining the Junior Anti-Sex 
League. She had always borne an excellent 
character. She had even (an infallible mark of good 
reputation) been picked out to work in Pomosec, 
the sub-section of the Fiction Department which 
turned out cheap pornography for distribution 
among the proles. It was nicknamed Muck House 
by the people who worked in it, she remarked. 
There she had remained for a year, helping to 
produce booklets in sealed packets with titles like 
'Spanking Stories' or 'One Night in a Girls' School', 
to be bought furtively by proletarian youths who 
were under the impression that they were buying 
something illegal. 


un modo insoportable a palomar. All! 
permanecieron varias horas, sentados en el 
polvoriento suelo, levantandose de cuando en 
cuando uno de ellos para asomarse 
cautelosamente y asegurarse de que no se 
acercaba nadie. 


Julia tenia veintiseis anos. Vivia en una especie 
de hotel con otras treinta muchachas («jSiempre 
el hedor de las mujeres! jComo las odio!», 
comento; y trabajaba, como el habia adivinado, 
en las maquinas que fabricaban novelas en el 
departamento dedicado a ello. Le distraia su 
trabajo, que consistia principalmente en manejar 
un motor electrico poderoso, pero lleno de 
resabios. No era una mujer muy lista — segun su 
propio juicio — , pero manejaba habilmente las 
maquinas. Sabia todo el procedimiento para 
fabricar una novela, desde las directrices 
generales del Comite Inventor hasta los toques 
finales que daba la Brigada de Repaso. Pero no le 
interesaba el producto terminado. No le 
interesaba leer. Consideraba los libros como una 
mercancia, algo asi como la mermelada o los 
cordones para los zapatos. 

Julia no recordaba nada anterior a los anos 
sesenta y tantos y la unica persona que habia 
conocido que le hablase de los tiempos anteriores 
a la Revolucion era un abuelo que habia 
desaparecido cuando ella tenia ocho anos. En la 
escuela habia sido capitana del equipo de hockey 
y habia ganado durante dos anos seguidos el 
trofeo de gimnasia. Fue jefe de seccion en los 
Espias y secretaria de una rama de la Liga de la 
juventud antes de afiliarse a la Liga juvenil 
Anti — Sex. Siempre habia sido considerada 
como persona de absoluta confianza. Incluso (y 
esto era serial infalible de buena reputacion) la 
habian elegido para trabajar en Pornosec, la 
subseccion del Departamento de Novela 
encargada de fabricar pornografia barata para los 
proles. Alii habia trabajado un ano entero 
ayudando a la produccion de libritos que se 
enviaban en paquetes sellados y que llevaban 
titulos como Historias deliciosas, o Una noche 
en un colegio de chicas, que compraban 
furtivamente los jovenes proletaries, con lo cual 
se les daba la impresion de que adquirian una 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


156 


'What are these books like?' said Winston 
curiously. 

'Oh, ghastly rubbish. They're boring, really. They 
only have six plots, but they swap them round a bit. 
Of course I was only on the kaleidoscopes. I was 
never in the Rewrite Squad. I'm not literary, dear — 
not even enough for that.' 


He learned with astonishment that all the workers 
in Pomosec, except theheads of the departments, 
were girls. The theory was that men, whose sex 
instincts were less controllable than those of 
women, were in greater danger of being corrupted 
by the filth they handled. 


'They don't even like having married women there,' 
she added. Girls are always supposed to be so pure. 
Here's one who isn't, anyway. 


She had had her first love-affair when she was 
sixteen, with a Party member of sixty who later 
committed suicide to avoid arrest. 'And a good job 
too,' said Julia, 'otherwise they'd have had my name 
out of him when he confessed.' Since then there 
had been various others. Life as she saw it was 
quite simple. You wanted a good time; 'they', 
meaning the Party, wanted to stop you having it; 
you broke the rules as best you could. She seemed 
to think it just as natural that 'they' should want to 
rob you of your pleasures as that you should want 
to avoid being caught. She hated the Party, and said 
so in the crudest words, but she made no general 
criticism of it. Except where it touched upon her 
own life she had no interest in Party doctrine. He 
noticed that she never used Newspeak words 
except the ones that had passed into everyday use. 
She had never heard of the Brotherhood, and 
refused to believe in its existence. Any kind of 
organized revolt against the Party, which was 
bound to be a failure, struck her as stupid. The 


mercancia ilegal. 

— ^Como son esos libros? — le pregunto 
Winston por curiosidad. 

— Pues una porquerfa. Son de lo mas aburrido. 
Hay solo seis argumentos. Yo trabajaba 
unicamente en los calidoscopios. Nunca llegue a 
formar parte de la Brigada de Repaso. No tengo 
disposiciones para la literatura. SI, querido, ni 
siquiera sirvo para eso. 

Winston se entero con asombro de que en la 
Pomosec, excepto el jefe, no habia mas que 
chicas. Dominaba la teorfa de que los hombres, 
por ser menos capaces que las mujeres de 
dominar su instinto sexual, se hallaban en mayor 
peligro de ser corrompidos por las suciedades 
que pasaban por sus manos. 

— Ni siquiera permiten trabajar alii a las mujeres 
casadas — anadio — . Se supone que las chicas 
solteras son siempre muy puras. Aqui tienes por 
lo pronto una que no lo es. 

Julia habia tenido su primer asunto amoroso a los 
dieciseis anos con un miembro del Partido de 
sesenta anos, que despues se suicido para evitar 
que lo detuvieran. «Fue una gran cos a — dijo 
Julia — , porque, si no, mi nombre se habrfa 
descubierto al confesar el.» Desde entonces se 
habian sucedido varios otros. Para ella la vida era 
muy sencilla. Una lo querfa pasar bien; ellos es 
decir, el Partido — trataban de evitarlo por todos 
los medios; y una procuraba burlar las 
prohibiciones de la mejor manera posible. A 
Julia le parecia muy natural que ellos le quisieran 
evitar el placer y que ella por su parte quisiera 
librarse de que la detuvieran. Odiaba al Partido y 
lo decia con las mas terribles palabrotas, pero no 
era capaz de hacer una crftica seria de lo que el 
Partido representaba. No atacaba mas que la 
parte de la doctrina del Partido que rozaba con su 
vida. Winston noto que Julia no usaba nunca 
palabras de neolengua excepto las que habian 
pasado al habla corriente. Nunca habia oido 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


157 


clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive all 
the same. He wondered vaguely how many others 
like her there might be in the younger generation 
people who had grown up in the world of the 
Revolution, knowing nothing else, accepting the 
Party as something unalterable, like the sky, not 
rebelling against its authority but simply evading it, 
as a rabbit dodges a dog. 


They did not discuss the possibility of getting 
married. It was too remote to be worth thinking 
about. No imaginable committee would ever 
sanction such a marriage even if Katharine, 
Winston's wife, could somehow have been got rid 
of. It was hopeless even as a daydream. 


'What was she like, your wife?' said Julia. 


'She was — do you know the Newspeak word 
GOODTHINKFUL? Meaning naturally orthodox, 
incapable of thinking a bad thought?' 

'No, I didn't know the word, but I know the kind of 
person, right enough.' 

He began telling her the story of his married life, 
but curiously enough she appeared to know the 
essential parts of it already. She described to him, 
almost as though she had seen or felt it, the 
stiffening of Katharine's body as soon as he 
touched her, the way in which she still seemed to 
be pushing him from her with all her strength, even 
when her arms were clasped tightly round him. 
With Julia he felt no difficulty in talking about 
such things: Katharine, in any case, had long 
ceased to be a painful memory and became merely 
a distasteful one. 


'I could have stood it if it hadn't been for one thing,' 


hablar de la Hermandad y se nego a creer en su 
existencia. Crela estupido pensar en una 
sublevacion contra el Partido. Cualquier intento 
en este sentido tenia que fracasar. Lo inteligente 
le parecla burlar las normas y seguir viviendo a 
pesar de ello. Se preguntaba cuantas habrla como 
ella en la generacion mas joven, mujeres 
educadas en el mundo de la revolucion, que no 
hablan oldo hablar de nada mas, aceptando al 
Partido como algo de imposible modificacion — 
algo as! como el cielo — y que sin rebelarse 
contra la autoridad estatal la eludlan lo mismo 
que un conejo puede escapar de un perro. 

Entre Winston y Julia no se planted la 
posibilidad de casarse. Habla demasiadas 
dificultades para ello. No merecla la pena perder 
tiempo pensando en esto. Ningun comite de 
Oceania autorizarfa este casamiento, incluso si 
Winston hubiera podido librarse de su esposa 
Katharine. 


— ^Cdmo era tu mujer? 

— Era..., ^conoces la palabra piensabien, es 
decir, ortodoxa por naturaleza, incapaz de un mal 
pensamiento? 

— No, no conozco esa palabra, pero si la clase 
de persona a que te refieres. 

Winston empezo a contarle la historia de su vida 
conyugal, pero Julia parecla, saber ya todo lo 
esencial de este asunto. 


Con Julia no le importaba hablar de esas cosas. 
Katharine habla dejado de ser para el un penoso 
recuerdo, convirtiendose en un recuerdo molesto. 


— Lo habrla soportado si no hubiera sido por 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


158 


he said. He told her about the frigid little ceremony 
that Katharine had forced him to go through on the 
same night every week. 'She hated it, but nothing 
would make her stop doing it. She used to call it — 
but you'll never guess.' 


'Our duty to the Party,' said Julia promptly. 


'How did you know that?' 


'I've been at school too, dear. Sex talks once a 
month for the over-sixteens. And in the Youth 
Movement. They rub it into you for years. I dare 
say it works in a lot of cases. But of course you can 
never tell; people are such hypocrites.' 


She began to enlarge upon the subject. With Julia, 
everything came back to her own sexuality. As 
soon as this was touched upon in any way she was 
capable of great acuteness. Unlike Winston, she 
had grasped the inner meaning of the Party's sexual 
puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct 
created a world of its own which was outside the 
Party's control and which therefore had to be 
destroyed if possible. What was more important 
was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which 
was desirable because it could be transformed into 
war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it 
was: 


'When you make love you're using up energy; and 
afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn 
for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. 
They want you to be bursting with energy all the 
time. All this marching up and down and cheering 
and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're 
happy inside yourself, why should you get excited 
about Big Brother and the Three- Year Plans and 
the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their 
bloody rot?' 


una cosa — anadio — . Y le conto la pequena 
ceremonia frfgida que Katharine le habia 
obligado a celebrar la misma noche cada semana. 
Le repugnaba, pero por nada del mundo lo habrfa 
dejado de hacer. No te puedes figurar como le 
llamaba a aquello. 

— «Nuestro deber para con el Partido» — dijo 
Julia inmediatamente. 


— ^Como lo sabias? 

— Querido, tambien yo he estado en la escuela. 
A las mayores de dieciseis anos les dan 
conferencias sobre tema, sexuales una vez al 
mes. Y luego, en el Movimiento juvenil, no dejan 
de grabarle a una esas estupideces en la cabeza. 
En mucfusimos casos da resultado. Claro que 
nunca se tiene la seguridad porque la gente es tan 
hipocrita... 

Y Julia se extendio sobre este asunto. Ella lo 
referfa todo a su propia sexualidad. 

A diferencia de Winston, entendia perfectamente 
lo que el Partido se proponfa con su puritanismo 
sexual. 


Lo mas importante era que la represion sexual 
conducia a la histeria, lo cual era deseable ya que 
se podia transformar en una fiebre guerrera y en 
adoracion del lider. Ella lo explicaba asi: 


«Cuando haces el amor gastas energias y despues 
te sientes feliz y no te importa nada. No pueden 
soportarlo que te sientas asi. Quieren que estes a 
punto de estallar de energia todo el tiempo. 
Todas estas marchas arriba y abajo vitoreando y 
agitando banderas no es mas que sexo agriado. Si 
eres feliz dentro de ti mismo, ^por que te ibas a 
excitar por el Gran Hermano y el Plan Trienal y 
los Dos Minutos de Odio y todo el resto de su 
porquerias. 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


159 


That was very true, he thought. There was a direct 
intimate connexion between chastity and political 
orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and 
the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its 
members be kept at the right pitch, except by 
bottling down some powerful instinct and using it 
as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous 
to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account. 
They had played a similar trick with the instinct of 
parenthood. The family could not actually be 
abolished, and, indeed, people were encouraged to 
be fond of their children, in almost the old- 
fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, 
were systematically turned against their parents and 
taught to spy on them and report their deviations. 
The family had become in effect an extension of 
the Thought Police. It was a device by means of 
which everyone could be surrounded night and day 
by informers who knew him intimately. 


Abruptly his mind went back to Katharine. 
Katharine would unquestionably have denounced 
him to the Thought Police if she had not happened 
to be too stupid to detect the unorthodoxy of his 
opinions. But what really recalled her to him at this 
moment was the stifling heat of the afternoon, 
which had brought the sweat out on his forehead. 
He began telling Julia of something that had 
happened, or rather had failed to happen, on 
another sweltering summer afternoon, eleven years 
ago. 

It was three or four months after they were married. 
They had lost their way on a community hike 
somewhere in Kent. They had only lagged behind 
the others for a couple of minutes, but they took a 
wrong turning, and presently found themselves 
pulled up short by the edge of an old chalk quarry. 
It was a sheer drop of ten or twenty metres, with 
boulders at the bottom. There was nobody of whom 
they could ask the way. As soon as she realized 
that they were lost Katharine became very uneasy. 
To be away from the noisy mob of hikers even for 
a moment gave her a feeling of wrong-doing. She 
wanted to hurry back by the way they had come 
and start searching in the other direction. But at this 
moment Winston noticed some tufts of loosestrife 


Esto era cierto, penso el. Habia una conexion 
directa entre la castidad y la ortodoxia politica. 
<;C6mo iban a mantenerse vivos el miedo, y el 
odio y la insens ata incredulidad que el Partido 
necesitaba si no se embotellaba algun instinto 
poderoso para usarlo despues como combustible? 
El instinto sexual era peligroso para el Partido y 
este lo habia utilizado en provecho propio. 
Habian hecho algo parecido con el instinto 
familiar. La familia no podia ser abolida; es mas, 
se animaba a la gente a que amase a sus hijos 
casi al estilo antiguo. Pero, por otra parte, los 
hijos eran enfrentados sistematicamente contra 
sus padres y se les ensenaba a espiarles y a 
denunciar sus Desviaciones. La familia se habia 
convertido en una ampliacion de la Policia del 
Pensamiento. Era un recurso por medio del cual 
todos se hallaban rodeados noche y dia por 
delatores que les conocian mtimamente. 

De pronto se puso a pensar otra vez en 
Katharine. Esta lo habria denunciado a la P. del 
P. con toda seguridad si no hubiera sido 
demasiado tonta para descubrir lo heretico de sus 
opiniones. Pero lo que se la hacia recordar en 
este momento era el agobiante calor de la tarde, 
que le hacia sudar. Empezo a contarle a Julia 
algo que habia ocurrido, o mejor dicho, que 
habia dejado de ocurrir en otra tarde tan calurosa 
como aquella, once anos antes. 


Katharine y Winston se habian extraviado 
durante una de aquellas excursiones colectivas 
que organizaba el Partido. Iban retrasados y por 
equivocacion doblaron por un camino que los 
condujo rapidamente a un lugar solitario. Estaban 
al borde de un precipicio. 

Nadie habia alii para preguntarle. En cuanto se 
dieron cuenta de que se habian perdido, 
Katharine empezo a ponerse nerviosa. Hallarse 
alejada de la ruidosa multitud de excursionistas, 
aunque solo fuese durante un momento, le 
producia un fuerte sentido de culpabilidad. 
Querfa volver inmediatamente por el camino que 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


160 


growing in the cracks of the cliff beneath them. 
One tuft was of two colours, magenta and brick- 
red, apparently growing on the same root. He had 
never seen anything of the kind before, and he 
called to Katharine to come and look at it. 


'Look, Katharine! Look at those flowers. That 
clump down near the bottom. Do you see they're 
two different colours?' 


She had already turned to go, but she did rather 
fretfully come back for a moment. She even leaned 
out over the cliff face to see where he was pointing. 
He was standing a little behind her, and he put his 
hand on her waist to steady her. At this moment it 
suddenly occurred to him how completely alone 
they were. There was not a human creature 
anywhere, not a leaf stirring, not even a bird 
awake. In a place like this the danger that there 
would be a hidden microphone was very small, and 
even if there was a microphone it would only pick 
up sounds. It was the hottest sleepiest hour of the 
afternoon. The sun blazed down upon them, the 
sweat tickled his face. And the thought struck 
him... 


'Why didn't you give her a good shove?' said Julia. 
'I would have.' 


'Yes, dear, you would have. I would, if I'd been the 
same person then as I am now. Or perhaps I 
would — I'm not certain.' 


'Are you sorry you didn't?' 


'Yes. On the whole I'm sorry I didn't.' 

They were sitting side by side on the dusty floor. 
He pulled her closer against him. Her head rested 
on his shoulder, the pleasant smell of her hair 
conquering the pigeon dung. She was very young, 
he thought, she still expected something from life, 


habian tornado por error y empezar a buscar en la 
direccion contraria. Pero en aquel momento 
Winston descubrio unas plantas que le llamaron 
la atencion. Nunca habia visto nada parecido Y 
llamo a Katharine para que las viera. 

— [Mira, Katharine; mira esas flores! Alii, al 
fondo; ^ves que son de dos colores diferentes? 


Ella habia empezado ya a alejarse, pero se acerco 
un momento, a cada instante mas intranquila. 
Incluso se inclino sobre el precipicio para ver 
donde senalaba Winston. El estaba un poco mas 
atras y le puso la mano en la cintura para 
sostenerla. No habia nadie en toda la extension 
que se abarcaba con la vista, no se movia ni una 
hoja y ningun pajaro daba senales de presencia. 
Entonces penso Winston que estaban 
completamente solos y que en un sitio como 
aquel habia muy pocas probabilidades de que 
tuvieran escondido un microfono, e incluso si lo 
habia, solo podrfa captar sonidos. Era la hora 
mas calida y sonolienta de la tarde. El sol 
deslumbraba y el sudor perlaba la cara de 
Winston. Entonces se le ocurrio que... 

— ^Por que no le diste un buen empujon? — dijo 
Julia — . Yo lo habrfa hecho. 


— Si, querida; yo tambien lo habrfa hecho si 
hubiera sido la misma persona que ahora soy. 
Bueno, no estoy seguro... 

— (-.Lamcntas ahora haber desperdiciado la 
ocasion? 


— Si. En realidad me arrepiento de ello. 

Estaban sentados muy juntos en el suelo. El la 
apreto mas contra si. La cabeza de ella 
descansaba en el hombro de el y el agradable 
olor de su cabello dominaba el desagradable 
hedor a palomar. Penso Winston que Julia era 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


161 


she did not understand that to push an inconvenient 
person over a cliff solves nothing. 


'Actually it would have made no difference,' he 
said. 


'Then why are you sorry you didn't do it?' 


'Only because I prefer a positive to a negative. In 
this game that we're playing, we can't win. Some 
kinds of failure are better than other kinds, that's 
all.' 


He felt her shoulders give a wriggle of dissent. She 
always contradicted him when he said anything of 
this kind. She would not accept it as a law of nature 
that the individual is always defeated. In a way she 
realized that she herself was doomed, that sooner 
or later the Thought Police would catch her and kill 
her, but with another part of her mind she believed 
that it was somehow possible to construct a secret 
world in which you could live as you chose. All 
you needed was luck and cunning and boldness. 
She did not understand that there was no such thing 
as happiness, that the only victory lay in the far 
future, long after you were dead, that from the 
moment of declaring war on the Party it was better 
to think of yourself as a corpse. 


'We are the dead,' he said. 


'We're not dead yet,' said Julia prosaically. 


'Not physically. Six months, a year — five years, 
conceivably. I am afraid of death. You are young, 
so presumably you're more afraid of it than I am. 


muy joven, que esperaba todavfa bastante de la 
vida y por tanto no podia comprender que 
empujar a una persona molesta por un precipicio 
no resuelve nada. 


— Habrfa sido lo mismo — dijo. 


— Entonces, ^por que dices que sientes no 
haberfo hecho? 


— Solo porque prefiero lo positivo a lo negativo. 
Pero en este juego que estamos jugando no 
podemos ganar. Unas clases de fracaso son quiza 
mejores que otras, eso es todo. 

Noto que los hombros de ella se movfan 
disconformes. Julia siempre lo contradecfa 
cuando el opinaba en este sentido. No estaba 
dispuesta a aceptar como ley natural que el 
individuo esta siempre vencido. En cierto modo 
comprendfa que tambien ella estaba condenada 
de antemano y que mas pronto o mas tarde la 
Policfa del Pensamiento la detendrfa y la matarfa; 
pero por otra parte de su cerebro crefa 
firmemente que cabfa la posibilidad de 
construirse un mundo secreto donde vivir a 
gusto. Solo se necesitaba suerte, astucia y 
audacia. No comprendfa que la felicidad era un 
mito, que la unica victoria posible estaba en un 
lejano futuro mucho despues de la muerte, y que 
desde el momento en que mentalmente le 
declaraba una persona la guerra al Partido, le 
convenfa considerarse como un cadaver 
ambulante. 


— Los muertos somos nosotros — dijo Winston. 

— Todavfa no hemos muerto — replied Julia 
prosaicamente. 

— Ffsicamente, todavfa no. Pero es cuestion de 
seis meses, un ano o quiza cinco. Le temo a la 
muerte. Tu eres joven y por eso mismo quiza le 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


162 


Obviously we shall put it off as long as we can. But 
it makes very little difference. So long as human 
beings stay human, death and life are the same 
thing.' 


'Oh, rubbish! Which would you sooner sleep with, 
me or a skeleton? Don't you enjoy being alive? 
Don't you like feeling: This is me, this is my hand, 
this is my leg, I'm real, I'm solid, I'm alive! Don't 
you like THIS?' 


She twisted herself round and pressed her bosom 
against him. He could feel her breasts, ripe yet 
firm, through her overalls. Her body seemed to be 
pouring some of its youth and vigour into his. 


'Yes, I like that,' he said. 


'Then stop talking about dying. And now listen, 
dear, we've got to fix up about the next time we 
meet. We may as well go back to the place in the 
wood. We've given it a good long rest. But you 
must get there by a different way this time. I've got 
it all planned out. You take the train — but look, I'll 
draw it out for you.' 

And in her practical way she scraped together a 
small square of dust, and with a twig from a 
pigeon's nest began drawing a map on the floor. 


temas a la muerte mas que yo. Naturalmente, 
haremos todo lo posible por evitarla lo mas que 
podamos. Pero la diferencia es insignificante. 
Mientras que los seres humanos sigan siendo 
humanos, la muerte y la vida vienen a ser lo 
mismo. 


— Oh, tonterfas. <;,Que preferirlas: dormir 
conmigo o con un esqueleto? ^,No disfrutas de 
estar vivo? ^No te gusta sentir: esto soy yo, esta 
es mi mano, esto mi piema, soy real, solida, 
estoy viva?... ^No te gusta? 


Ella se dio la vuelta y apreto su pecho contra el. 
Podia sentir sus senos, maduros pero firmes, a 
traves de su mono. Su cuerpo parecia traspasar su 
juventud y vigor hacia el. 


— Si, me gusta — dijo Winston. 


— No hablemos mas de la muerte. Y ahora 
escucha, querido; tenemos que fijar la proxima 
cita. Si te parece bien, podemos volver a aquel 
sitio del bosque. Ya hace mucho tiempo que 
fuimos. Basta con que vayas por un camino 
distinto. Lo tengo todo preparado. Tomas el 
tren... Pero lo mejor sera que te lo dibuje aquf. 


Y tan practica como siempre amaso primero un 
cuadrito de polvo y con una ramita de un nido de 
palomas empezo a dibujar un mapa sobre el 
suelo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


163 


Chapter 4 


Winston looked round the shabby little room 
above Mr Charrington's shop. Beside the 
window the enormous bed was made up, with 
ragged blankets and a coverless bolster. The old- 
fashioned clock with the twelve-hour face was 
ticking away on the mantelpiece. In the corner, 
on the gateleg table, the glass paperweight 
which he had bought on his last visit gleamed 
softly out of the half-darkness. 


In the fender was a battered tin oilstove, a 
saucepan, and two cups, provided by Mr 
Charrington. Winston lit the burner and set a pan 
of water to boil. He had brought an envelope full 
of Victory Coffee and some saccharine tablets. 
The clock's hands said seventeen-twenty: it was 
nineteen-twenty really. She was coming at 
nineteen-thirty. 


Folly, folly, his heart kept saying: conscious, 
gratuitous, suicidal folly. Of all the crimes that a 
Party member could commit, this one was the 
least possible to conceal. Actually the idea had 
first floated into his head in the form of a vision, 
of the glass paperweight mirrored by the surface 
of the gateleg table. As he had foreseen, Mr 
Charrington had made no difficulty about letting 
the room. He was obviously glad of the few 
dollars that it would bring him. Nor did he seem 
shocked or become offensively knowing when it 
was made clear that Winston wanted the room 
for the purpose of a love-affair. Instead he 
looked into the middle distance and spoke in 
generalities, with so delicate an air as to give the 
impression that he had become partly invisible. 
Privacy, he said, was a very valuable thing. 
Everyone wanted a place where they could be 
alone occasionally. And when they had such a 
place, it was only common courtesy in anyone 
else who knew of it to keep his knowledge to 
himself. He even, seeming almost to fade out of 
existence as he did so, added that there were two 
entries to the house, one of them through the 
back yard, which gave on an alley. 


CAPITULO IV 


Winston examino la pequena habitacion en la 
tienda del senor Charrington. junto a la ventana, 
la enorme cama estaba preparada con viejas 
mantas y una colcha raquitica. El antiguo reloj, en 
cuya esfera se marcaban las doce horas, seguia 
con su tic — tac sobre la repisa de la chimenea. En 
un rincon, sobre la mesita, el pisapapeles de 
cristal que habia comprado en su visita anterior 
brillaba suavemente en la semioscuridad. 


En el hogar de la chimenea habia una 
desvencijada estufa de petroleo, una sarten y dos 
copas, todo ello proporcionado por el senor 
Charrington. Winston puso un poco de agua a 
hervir. Habia traido un sobre lleno de cafe de la 
Victoria y algunas pastillas de sacarina. Las 
manecillas del reloj marcaban las siete y veinte; 
pero en realidad eran las diecinueve veinte. Julia 
llegaria a las diecinueve treinta. 

El corazon le decia a Winston que todo esto era 
una locura; si, una locura consciente y suicida. De 
todos los crimenes que un miembro del Partido 
podia cometer, este era el de mas imposible 
ocultacion. La idea habia flotado en su cabeza en 
forma de una vision del pisapapeles de cristal 
reflejado en la brillante superficie de la mesita. 
Como el lo habia previsto, el senor Charrington 
no opuso ninguna dificultad para alquilarle la 
habitacion. Se alegraba, por lo visto, de los 
dolares que aquello le proporcionaria. Tampoco 
parecia ofenderse, ni inclinado a hacer preguntas 
indiscretas al quedar bien claro que Winston 
deseaba la habitacion para un asunto amoroso. Al 
contrario, se mantenia siempre a una discreta 
distancia y con un aire tan delicado que daba la 
impresion de haberse hecho invisible en parte. 
Decia que la intimidad era una cosa de valor 
inapreciable. Que todo el mundo necesitaba un 
sitio donde poder estar solo de vez en cuando. Y 
una vez que lo hubiera logrado, era de elemental 
cortesia, en cualquier otra persona que conociera 
este refugio, no contarselo a nadie. Y para 
subrayar en la practica su teoria, casi desaparecia, 
anadiendo que la casa tenia dos entradas, una de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


164 


Under the window somebody was singing. 
Winston peeped out, secure in the protection of 
the muslin curtain. The June sun was still high 
in the sky, and in the sun-filled court below, a 
monstrous woman, solid as a Norman pillar, 
with brawny red forearms and a sacking apron 
strapped about her middle, was stumping to and 
fro between a washtub and a clothes line, 
pegging out a series of square white things 
which Winston recognized as babies' diapers. 
Whenever her mouth was not corked with 
clothes pegs she was singing in a powerful 
contralto: 


It was only an 'opeless fancy. 

It passed like an Ipril dye, 

But a look an' a word an' the dreams they 
stirred! 

They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye ! 


The tune had been haunting London for weeks 
past. It was one of countless similar songs 
published for the benefit of the proles by a sub- 
section of the Music Department. The words of 
these songs were composed without any human 
intervention whatever on an instrument known 
as a versificator. But the woman sang so 
tunefully as to turn the dreadful rubbish into an 
almost pleasant sound. He could hear the 
woman singing and the scrape of her shoes on 
the flagstones, and the cries of the children in 
the street, and somewhere in the far distance a 
faint roar of traffic, and yet the room seemed 
curiously silent, thanks to the absence of a 
telescreen. 


Folly, folly, folly! he thought again. It was 
inconceivable that they could frequent this place 
for more than a few weeks without being caught. 
But the temptation of having a hiding-place that 
was truly their own, indoors and near at hand, 
had been too much for both of them. For some 
time after their visit to the church belfry it had 


las cuales daba al patio trasero que tenia una 
salida a un callejon. 


Alguien cantaba bajo la ventana. Winston se 
asomo por detras de los visillos. El sol de junio 
estaba aun muy alto y en el patio central una 
monstruosa mujer solida como una columna 
normanda, con antebrazos de un color moreno 
rojizo, y un delantal atado a la cintura, iba y venra 
continuamente desde el barreno donde tenia la 
ropa lavada hasta el fregadero, colgando cada vez 
unos panitos cuadrados que Winston reconocio 
como panales. Cuando la boca de la mujer no 
estaba impedida por pinzas para tender, cantaba 
con poderosa voz de contralto: 


Era solo una ilusion sin esperanza 
que paso como un dia de abril; 
pero aquella mirada, aquella palabra 
y los ensuenos que despertaron 
me robaron el corazon. 


Esta cancion obsesionaba a Londres desde hacra 
muchas semanas. Era una de las producciones de 
una subseccion del Departamento de Musica con 
destino a los proles. La letra de estas canciones se 
componra sin intervencion humana en absoluto, 
valiendose de un instrumento llamado 
«versificador». Pero la mujer la cantaba con tan 
buen oido que el horrible sonsonete se habia 
convertido en unos sonidos casi agradables. 
Winston ora la voz de la mujer, el ruido de sus 
zapatos sobre el empedrado del patio, los gritos 
de los ninos en la calle, y a cierta distancia, muy 
debilmente, el zumbido del trafico, y sin embargo 
su habitacion parecra impresionantemente 
silenciosa gracias a la ausencia de telepantalla. 

«jQue locura! jQue locura!», penso Winston. Era 
inconcebible que Julia y el pudieran frecuentar 
este sitio mas de unas semanas sin que los 
cazaran. Pero la tentacion de disponer de un 
escondite verdaderamente suyo bajo techo y en 
un sitio bastante cercano al lugar de trabajo, habia 
sido demasiado fuerte para el. Durante algun 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


165 


been impossible to arrange meetings. Working 
hours had been drastically increased in 
anticipation of Hate Week. It was more than a 
month distant, but the enormous, complex 
preparations that it entailed were throwing extra 
work on to everybody. Finally both of them 
managed to secure a free afternoon on the same 
day. They had agreed to go back to the clearing 
in the wood. On the evening beforehand they 
met briefly in the street. As usual, Winston 
hardly looked at Julia as they drifted towards 
one another in the crowd, but from the short 
glance he gave her it seemed to him that she was 
paler than usual. 


'It's all off,' she murmured as soon as she judged 
it safe to speak. 'Tomorrow, I mean.' 


'What?' 


'Tomorrow afternoon. I can't come.' 


Oh, the usual reason. It's started early this time. 

For a moment he was violently angry. During 
the month that he had known her the nature of 
his desire for her had changed. At the beginning 
there had been little true sensuality in it. Their 
first love-making had been simply an act of the 
will. But after the second time it was different. 
The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the 
feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside 
him, or into the air all round him. She had 
become a physical necessity, something that he 
not only wanted but felt that he had a right to. 
When she said that she could not come, he had 
the feeling that she was cheating him. But just at 
this moment the crowd pressed them together 
and their hands accidentally met. She gave the 
tips of his fingers a quick squeeze that seemed to 
invite not desire but affection. It struck him that 


tiempo despues de su visita al campanario les 
habia sido por completo imposible arreglar 
ninguna cita. Las horas de trabajo habian 
aumentado implacablemente en preparacion de la 
Semana del Odio. Faltaba todavia mas de un mes, 
pero los enormes y complejos preparativos 
cargaban de trabajo a todos los miembros del 
Partido. Por fin, ambos pudieron tener la misma 
tarde libre. Estaban ya de acuerdo en volver a 
verse en el claro del bosque. La tarde anterior se 
cruzaron en la calle. Como de costumbre, 
Winston no miro directamente a Julia y ambos se 
sumaron a una masa de gente que empujaba en 
determinada direccion. Winston se fue acercando 
a ella. Mirandola con el rabillo del ojo noto en 
seguida que estaba mas palida que de costumbre. 


— Lo de manana es imposible — murmuro Julia 
en cuanto creyo prudente poder hablar. 


— tQue? 


— Que manana no podre ir. 


La primera reaccion de Winston fue de violenta 
irritacion. Durante el mes que la habia conocido 
la naturaleza de su deseo por ella habia cambiado. 
Al principio habia habido muy poca sensualidad 
real. Su primer encuentro amoroso habia sido un 
acto de voluntad. Pero despues de la segunda vez 
habia sido distinto. El olor de su pelo, el sabor de 
su boca, el tacto de su piel parecian habersele 
metido dentro o estar en el aire que lo rodeaba. Se 
habia convertido en una necesidad fisica, algo 
que no solamente queria sino sobre lo que a la 
vez tenia derecho. Cuando ella dijo que no podia 
venir, habia sentido como si lo estafaran. Pero en 
aquel momento la multitud los aplasto el uno 
contra el otro y sus manos se unieron y ella le 
acaricio los dedos de un modo que no despertaba 
su deseo, sino su afecto. Una honda ternura, que 




George Orwell 


19 8 4 


166 


when one lived with a woman this particular 
disappointment must be a normal, recurring 
event; and a deep tenderness, such as he had not 
felt for her before, suddenly took hold of him. 
He wished that they were a married couple of 
ten years' standing. He wished that he were 
walking through the streets with her just as they 
were doing now but openly and without fear, 
talking of trivialities and buying odds and ends 
for the household. He wished above all that they 
had some place where they could be alone 
together without feeling the obligation to make 
love every time they met. It was not actually at 
that moment, but at some time on the following 
day, that the idea of renting Mr Charrington's 
room had occurred to him. When he suggested it 
to Julia she had agreed with unexpected 
readiness. Both of them knew that it was lunacy. 
It was as though they were intentionally 
stepping nearer to their graves. As he sat waiting 
on the edge of the bed he thought again of the 
cellars of the Ministry of Love. It was curious 
how that predestined horror moved in and out of 
one's consciousness. There it lay, fixed in future 
times, preceding death as surely as 99 precedes 
100. One could not avoid it, but one could 
perhaps postpone it: and yet instead, every now 
and again, by a conscious, wilful act, one chose 
to shorten the interval before it happened. 


At this moment there was a quick step on the 
stairs. Julia burst into the room. She was 
carrying a tool-bag of coarse brown canvas, such 
as he had sometimes seen her carrying to and fro 
at the Ministry. He started forward to take her in 
his arms, but she disengaged herself rather 
hurriedly, partly because she was still holding 
the tool-bag. 


'Half a second,' she said. 'Just let me show you 
what I've brought. Did you bring some of that 
filthy Victory Coffee? I thought you would. You 
can chuck it away again, because we shan't be 
needing it. Look here.' 


She fell on her knees, threw open the bag, and 
tumbled out some spanners and a screwdriver 
that filled the top part of it. Underneath were a 


no habla sentido hasta entonces por ella, se 
apodero subitamente de el. Le hubiera gustado en 
aquel momento llevar ya diez anos casado con 
Julia. Deseaba intensamente poderse pasear con 
ella por las calles, pero no como ahora lo hacla, 
sino abiertamente, sin miedo alguno, hablando 
trivialidades y comprando los pequenos objetos 
necesarios para la casa. Deseaba sobre todo vivir 
con ella en un sitio tranquilo sin sentirse obligado 
a acostarse cada vez que consegulan reunirse. No 
fue en aquella ocasion precisamente, sino al dfa 
siguiente, cuando se le ocurrio la idea de alquilar 
la habitacion del senor Charrington. Cuando se lo 
propuso a Julia, esta acepto inmediatamente. 
Ambos sablan que era una locura. Era como si 
avanzaran a proposito hacia sus tumbas. Mientras 
la esperaba sentado al borde de la cama volvio a 
pensar en los sotanos del Ministerio del Amor. 
Era notable como entraba y salfa en la conciencia 
de todos aquel predestinado horror. All! estaba, 
clavado en el futuro, precediendo a la muerte con 
tanta inevitabilidad como el 99 precede al 100. 
No se podia evitar, pero quiza se pudiera aplazar. 
Y sin embargo, de cuando en cuando, por un 
consciente acto de voluntad se decidfa uno a 
acortar el intervalo, a precipitar la llegada de la 
tragedia. 


En este momento sintio Winston unos pasos 
rapidos en la escalera. Julia irrumpio en la 
habitacion. Llevaba una bolsa de Iona oscura y 
basta como la que solfa llevar al Ministerio. 
Winston le tendio los brazos, pero ella apartose 
nerviosa, en parte porque le estorbaba la bolsa 
llena de herramientas. 


— Un momento — dijo — . Deja que te ensene lo 
que traigo. ^Trajiste ese asqueroso cafe de la 
Victoria? Ya me lo figure. Puedes tirarlo porque 
no lo necesitaremos. Mira. 


Se arrodillo, tiro al suelo la bolsa abierta y de ella 
salieron varias herramientas, entre ellas un 
destomillador, pero debajo venfan varios 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


167 


number of neat paper packets. The first packet 
that she passed to Winston had a strange and yet 
vaguely familiar feeling. It was filled with some 
kind of heavy, sand-like stuff which yielded 
wherever you touched it. 

'It isn't sugar?' he said. 


'Real sugar. Not saccharine, sugar. And here's a 
loaf of bread — proper white bread, not our 
bloody stuff — and a little pot of jam. And here's 
a tin of milk — but look! This is the one I'm 
really proud of. I had to wrap a bit of sacking 
round it, because — ' 


But she did not need to tell him why she had 
wrapped it up. The smell was already filling the 
room, a rich hot smell which seemed like an 
emanation from his early childhood, but which 
one did occasionally meet with even now, 
blowing down a passage-way before a door 
slammed, or diffusing itself mysteriously in a 
crowded street, sniffed for an instant and then 
lost again. 

'It's coffee,' he murmured, 'real coffee.' 


'It's Inner Party coffee. There's a whole kilo 
here,' she said. 


'How did you manage to get hold of all these 
things?' 


'It's all Inner Party stuff. There's nothing those 
swine don't have, nothing. But of course waiters 
and servants and people pinch things, and — 
look, I got a little packet of tea as well.' 


Winston had squatted down beside her. He tore 


paquetes de papel. El primero que cogio Winston 
le produjo una sensacion familiar y a la vez 
extrana. Estaba lleno de algo arenoso, pesado, 
que cedra donde quiera que se le tocaba. 


— No sera azucar, ^verdad? — dijo, asombrado. 

— Azucar de verdad. No sacarina, sino verdadero 
azucar. Y aqur tienes un magnrfico pan bianco, no 
esas porquerras que nos dan, y un bote de 
mermelada. Y aqur tienes un bote de leche 
condensada. Pero frjate en esto; estoy 
orgullosrsima de haberlo conseguido. Tuve que 
envolverlo con tela de saco para que no se 
conociera, porque... 

Pero no necesitaba explicarle por que lo habla 
envuelto con tanto cuidado. El aroma que 
despedra aquello llenaba la habitacion, un olor 
exquisito que parecra emanado de su primera 
infancia, el olor que solo se percibra ya de vez en 
cuando al pasar por un corredor y antes de que le 
cerraran a uno la puerta violentamente, ese olor 
que se difundra misteriosamente por una calle 
llena de gente y que desaparecra al instante. 

— Es cafe — murmuro Winston — ; cafe de 
verdad. 


— Es cafe del Partido Interior. jUn kilo! — dijo 
Julia. 


— ^Como te las arreglaste para conseguir todo 
esto? 


— Son provisiones del Partido Interior. Esos 
cerdos no se privan de nada. Pero, claro esta, los 
camareros, las criadas y la gente que los rodea 
cogen cosas de vez en cuando. Y... mira: tambien 
te traigo un paquetito de te. 

Winston se habra sentado junto a ella en el suelo. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


168 


open a corner of the packet. 


'It's real tea. Not blackberry leaves.' 


'There's been a lot of tea about lately. They've 
captured India, or something,' she said vaguely. 
'But listen, dear. I want you to turn your back on 
me for three minutes. Go and sit on the other 
side of the bed. Don't go too near the window. 
And don't turn round till I tell you.' 


Winston gazed abstractedly through the muslin 
curtain. Down in the yard the red-armed woman 
was still marching to and fro between the 
washtub and the line. She took two more pegs 
out of her mouth and sang with deep feeling: 


They sye that time 'eals all things, 

They sye you can always forget; 

But the smiles an' the tears across the years 
They twist my 'eart- strings yet! 


She knew the whole drivelling song by heart, it 
seemed. Her voice floated upward with the 
sweet summer air, very tuneful, charged with a 
sort of happy melancholy. One had the feeling 
that she would have been perfectly content, if 
the June evening had been endless and the 
supply of clothes inexhaustible, to remain there 
for a thousand years, pegging out diapers and 
singing rubbish. It struck him as a curious fact 
that he had never heard a member of the Party 
singing alone and spontaneously. It would even 
have seemed slightly unorthodox, a dangerous 
eccentricity, like talking to oneself. Perhaps it 
was only when people were somewhere near the 
starvation level that they had anything to sing 
about. 


'You can turn round now,' said Julia. 


Abrio un pico del paquete y lo olio. 

— Es te autentico. 

— Ultimamente ha habido mucho te. Han 
conquistado la India o algo asi — dijo Julia 
vagamente. Pero escucha, querido: quiero que te 
vuelvas de espalda unos minutos. Sientate en el 
lado de alia de la cama. No te acerques 
demasiado a la ventana. Y no te vuelvas hasta que 
te lo diga. 

Winston la obedecio y se puso a mirar abstraido 
por los visillos de muselina. Abajo en el patio la 
mujer de los rojos antebrazos seguia yendo y 
viniendo entre el lavadero y el tendedero. Se 
quito dos pinzas mas de la boca y canto con 
mucho sentimiento: 


Dicen que el tiempo lo cura todo, 
dicen que siempre se olvida, 
pero las sonrisas y lagrimas 
a lo largo de los anos, 
me retuercen el corazon. 


Por lo visto se sabia la cancion de memoria. Su 
voz subia a la habitacion en el calido aire estival, 
bastante armoniosa y cargada de una especie de 
feliz melancolia. Se tenia la sensacion de que esa 
mujer habria sido perfectamente feliz si la tarde 
de junio no hubiera terminado nunca y la ropa 
lavada para tender no se hubiera agotado; le 
habria gustado estarse alii mil anos tendiendo 
panales y cantando tonterias. Le parecia muy 
curioso a Winston no haber of do nunca a un 
miembro del Partido cantando espontaneamente y 
en soledad. Habria parecido una herejia politica, 
una excentricidad peligrosa, algo asi como hablar 
consigo mismo. Quiza la gente solo cantara 
cuando estuviera a punto de morirse de hambre. 


— Ya puedes volverte — dijo Julia. 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


169 


He turned round, and for a second almost failed 
to recognize her. What he had actually expected 
was to see her naked. But she was not naked. 
The transformation that had happened was much 
more surprising than that. She had painted her 
face. 


She must have slipped into some shop in the 
proletarian quarters and bought herself a 
complete set of make-up materials. Her lips 
were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, her 
nose powdered; there was even a touch of 
something under the eyes to make them brighter. 
It was not very skilfully done, but Winston's 
standards in such matters were not high. He had 
never before seen or imagined a woman of the 
Party with cosmetics on her face. The 
improvement in her appearance was startling. 
With just a few dabs of colour in the right places 
she had become not only very much prettier, 
but, above all, far more feminine. Her short hair 
and boyish overalls merely added to the effect. 
As he took her in his arms a wave of synthetic 
violets flooded his nostrils. He remembered the 
half-darkness of a basement kitchen, and a 
woman's cavernous mouth. It was the very same 
scent that she had used; but at the moment it did 
not seem to matter. 


'Scent too!' he said. 


'Yes, dear, scent too. And do you know what I'm 
going to do next? I'm going to get hold of a real 
woman's frock from somewhere and wear it 
instead of these bloody trousers. I'll wear silk 
stockings and high-heeled shoes! In this room 
I'm going to be a woman, not a Party comrade.' 


They flung their clothes off and climbed into the 
huge mahogany bed. It was the first time that he 
had stripped himself naked in her presence. 
Until now he had been too much ashamed of his 
pale and meagre body, with the varicose veins 
standing out on his calves and the discoloured 
patch over his ankle. There were no sheets, but 


Se dio la vuelta y por un segundo casi no la 
reconocio. Habla esperado verla desnuda. Pero no 
lo estaba. La transformacion habla sido mucho 
mayor. Se habla pintado la cara. Debla de haber 
comprado el maquillaje en alguna tienda de los 
barrios proletaries. 


Tenia los labios de un rojo intenso, las mejillas 
rosadas y la nariz con polvos. Incluso se habla 
dado un toquecito debajo de los ojos para hacer 
resaltar su brillantez. No se habla pintado muy 
bien, pero Winston entendla poco de esto. Nunca 
habla visto ni se habla atrevido a imaginar a una 
mujer del Partido con cosmeticos en la cara. Era 
sorprendente el cambio tan favorable que habla 
experimentado el rostro de Julia. Con unos 
cuantos toques de color en los sitios adecuados, 
no solo estaba mucho mas bonita, sino, lo que era 
mas importante, infinitamente mas femenina. Su 
cabello corto y su «mono» juvenil de chico 
realzaban aun mas este efecto. A1 abrazarla sintio 
Winston un perfume a violetas sinteticas. 
Recordo entonces la semioscuridad de una cocina 
en un sotano y la boca negra cavernosa de una 
mujer. Era el mismlsimo perfume que aquella 
habla usado, pero a Winston no le importaba esto 
por lo pronto. 


— jTambien perfume! — dijo. 


— SI, querido; tambien me he puesto perfume. 
[Y sabes lo que voy a hacer ahora? Voy a 
buscarme en donde sea un verdadero vestido de 
mujer y me lo pondre en vez de estos asquerosos 
pantalones. jLlevare medias de seda y zapatos de 
tacon alto! Estoy dispuesta a ser en esta 
habitacion una mujer y no una camarada del 
Partido. 


Se sacaron las ropas y se subieron a la gran cama 
de caoba. Era la primera vez que el se desnudaba 
por completo en su presencia. Hasta ahora habla 
tenido demasiada vergiienza de su palido y 
delgado cuerpo, con las varices saliendose en las 
pantorrillas y el trozo descolorido justo encima de 
su tobillo. No habla sabanas pero la manta sobre 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


170 


the blanket they lay on was threadbare and 
smooth, and the size and springiness of the bed 
astonished both of them. 'It's sure to be full of 
bugs, but who cares?' said Julia. One never saw 
a double bed nowadays, except in the homes of 
the proles. Winston had occasionally slept in 
one in his boyhood: Julia had never been in one 
before, so far as she could remember. 


Presently they fell asleep for a little while. When 
Winston woke up the hands of the clock had 
crept round to nearly nine. He did not stir, 
because Julia was sleeping with her head in the 
crook of his arm. Most of her make-up had 
transferred itself to his own face or the bolster, 
but a light stain of rouge still brought out the 
beauty of her cheekbone. A yellow ray from the 
sinking sun fell across the foot of the bed and 
lighted up the fireplace, where the water in the 
pan was boiling fast. Down in the yard the 
woman had stopped singing, but the faint shouts 
of children floated in from the street. He 
wondered vaguely whether in the abolished past 
it had been a normal experience to lie in bed like 
this, in the cool of a summer evening, a man and 
a woman with no clothes on, making love when 
they chose, talking of what they chose, not 
feeling any compulsion to get up, simply lying 
there and listening to peaceful sounds outside. 
Surely there could never have been a time when 
that seemed ordinary? Julia woke up, rubbed her 
eyes, and raised herself on her elbow to look at 
the oil stove. 


'Half that water's boiled away,' she said. 'I'll get 
up and make some coffee in another moment. 
We've got an hour. What time do they cut the 
lights off at your flats?' 


'Twenty-three thirty.' 


'It's twenty-three at the hostel. But you have to 
get in earlier than that, because — Hi! Get out, 
you filthy brute!' 


la que estaban echados estaba gastada y era 
suave, y el tamano y lo blando de la cama los 
tenia asombrados. 

— Seguro que esta llena de chinches, pero ^que 
importa? — dijo Julia. 

No se veian camas dobles en aquellos tiempos, 
excepto en las casas de los proles. Winston habia 
dormido en una ocasionalmente en su ninez. Julia 
no recordaba haber dormido nunca en una. 


Durmieron despues un ratito. Cuando Winston se 
desperto, el reloj marcaba cerca de las nueve de la 
noche. No se movieron porque Julia dormia con 
la cabeza apoyada en el hueco de su brazo. Casi 
toda su pintura habia pasado a la cara de Winston 
o a la almohada, pero todavia le quedaba un poco 
de colorete en las mejillas. Un rayo de sol 
poniente caia sobre el pie de la cama y daba sobre 
la chimenea donde el agua hervia a borbotones. 
Ya no cantaba la mujer en el patio, pero seguian 
oyendose los gritos de los ninos en la calle. 


Julia se desperto, frotandose los ojos, y se 
incorporo apoyandose en un codo para mirar a la 
estufa de petroleo. 

— La mitad del agua se ha evaporado — dijo — . 
Voy a levantarme y a preparar mas agua en un 
momento. Tenemos una hora. ^Cuando cortan las 
luces en tu casa? 


— A las veintitres treinta. 


— Donde yo vivo apagan a las veintitres un 
punto. Pero hay que entrar antes porque... jFuera. 
de aqui, asquerosa! 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


171 


She suddenly twisted herself over in the bed, 
seized a shoe from the floor, and sent it hurtling 
into the corner with a boyish jerk of her arm, 
exactly as he had seen her fling the dictionary at 
Goldstein, that morning during the Two Minutes 
Hate. 


'What was it?' he said in surprise. 


'A rat. I saw him stick his beastly nose out of the 
wainscoting. There's a hole down there. I gave 
him a good fright, anyway.' 

'Rats!' murmured Winston. 'In this room!' 


'They're all over the place,' said Julia 
indifferently as she lay down again. 'We've even 
got them in the kitchen at the hostel. Some parts 
of London are swarming with them. Did you 
know they attack children? Yes, they do. In 
some of these streets a woman daren't leave a 
baby alone for two minutes. It's the great huge 
brown ones that do it. And the nasty thing is that 
the brutes always — ' 


'DON'T GO ON!' said Winston, with his eyes 
tightly shut. 


'Dearest! You've gone quite pale. What's the 
matter? Do they make you feel sick?' 


'Of all horrors in the world — a rat!' 


She pressed herself against him and wound her 
limbs round him, as though to reassure him with 
the warmth of her body. He did not reopen his 
eyes immediately. For several moments he had 
had the feeling of being back in a nightmare 
which had recurred from time to time 
throughout his life. It was always very much the 
same. He was standing in front of a wall of 


Julia empezo a retorcerse en la cama, logro coger 
un zapato del suelo y lo tiro a un rincon, igual que 
Winston la habla visto arrojar su diccionario a la 
cara de Goldstein aquella manana durante los Dos 
Minutos de Odio. 


— ^Que era eso? — l e pregunto Winston, 
sorprendido. 

— Una rata. La vi asomarse por ahl. Se metio por 
un boquete que hay en aquella pared. De todos 
modos le he dado un buen susto. 


— jRatas! — murmuro Winston — . <[Hay ratas 
en esta habitacion? 


— Todo esta lleno de ratas — dijo ella en tono 
indiferente mientras volvla a tumbarse — . Las 
tenemos hasta en la cocina de nuestro hotel. Hay 
partes de Londres en que se encuentran por todos 
lados. ^Sabes que atacan a los ninos? SI; en 
algunas calles de los proles las mujeres no se 
atreven a dejar a sus hijos solos ni dos minutos. 
Las mas peligrosas son las grandes y oscuras. Y 
lo mas horrible es que siempre... 

— jNo sigas, por favor! — dijo Winston, cerrando 
los ojos con fuerza. 

— jQuerido, te has puesto palidlsimo! ^Que te 
pasa? ^Te dan asco? 

— jUna rata! jLo mas horrible del mundo! 

Ella lo tranquilizo con el calor de su cuerpo. 
Winston no abrio los ojos durante un buen rato. 
Le habia parecido volver a hallarse de lleno en 
una pesadilla que se le presentaba con frecuencia. 
Siempre era poco mas o menos igual. Se hallaba 
frente a un muro tenebroso y del otro lado de este 
muro habla algo capaz de enloquecer al mas 
valiente. Algo infinitamente espantoso. En el 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


172 


darkness, and on the other side of it there was 
something unendurable, something too dreadful 
to be faced. In the dream his deepest feeling was 
always one of self-deception, because he did in 
fact know what was behind the wall of darkness. 
With a deadly effort, like wrenching a piece out 
of his own brain, he could even have dragged 
the thing into the open. He always woke up 
without discovering what it was: but somehow it 
was connected with what Julia had been saying 
when he cut her short. 


'I'm sorry,' he said, 'it's nothing. I don't like rats, 
that's all.' 


'Don't worry, dear, we're not going to have the 
filthy brutes in here. I'll stuff the hole with a bit 
of sacking before we go. And next time we 
come here I'll bring some plaster and bung it up 
properly.' 

Already the black instant of panic was half- 
forgotten. Feeling slightly ashamed of himself, 
he sat up against the bedhead. Julia got out of 
bed, pulled on her overalls, and made the coffee. 
The smell that rose from the saucepan was so 
powerful and exciting that they shut the window 
lest anybody outside should notice it and 
become inquisitive. What was even better than 
the taste of the coffee was the silky texture given 
to it by the sugar, a thing Winston had almost 
forgotten after years of saccharine. With one 
hand in her pocket and a piece of bread and jam 
in the other, Julia wandered about the room, 
glancing indifferently at the bookcase, pointing 
out the best way of repairing the gateleg table, 
plumping herself down in the ragged arm-chair 
to see if it was comfortable, and examining the 
absurd twelve-hour clock with a sort of tolerant 
amusement. She brought the glass paperweight 
over to the bed to have a look at it in a better 
light. He took it out of her hand, fascinated, as 
always, by the soft, rainwatery appearance of the 
glass. 

'What is it, do you think?' said Julia. 


sueno sentiase siempre decepcionado porque 
sabia perfectamente lo que ocurria detras del 
muro de tinieblas. Con un esfuerzo mortal, como 
si se arrancara un trozo de su cerebro, conseguia 
siempre despertarse sin llegar a descubrir de que 
se trataba concretamente, pero el sabia que era 
algo relacionado con lo que Julia habia estado 
diciendo y sobre todo con lo que iba a decirle 
cuando la interrumpio. 


— Lo siento — dijo — , no es nada. Lo que ocurre 
es que no puedo soportar las ratas. 

— No te preocupes, querido. Aqui no entraran 
porque voy a tapar ese agujero con tela de saco 
antes de que nos vayamos. Y la proxima vez que 
vengamos traere un poco de yeso y lo taparemos 
definitivamente. 


Ya habia olvidado Winston aquellos instantes de 
panico. Un poco avergonzado de si mismo 
sentose a la cabecera de la cama. Julia se levanto, 
se puso el «mono» e hizo el cafe. El aroma 
resultaba tan delicioso y fuerte que tuvieron que 
cerrar la ventana para no alarmar a la vecindad. 
Pero mejor aun que el sabor del cafe era la 
calidad que le daba el azucar, una finura sedosa 
que Winston casi habia olvidado despues de 
tantos anos de sacarina. Con una mano en un 
bolsillo y un pedazo de pan con mermelada en la 
otra se paseaba Julia por la habitacion mirando 
con indiferencia la estanterfa de libros, pensando 
en la mejor manera de arreglar la mesa, dejandose 
caer en el viejo sillon para ver si era comodo y 
examinando el absurdo reloj de las doce horas 
con aire divertido y tolerante. Cogio el 
pisapapeles de cristal y se lo llevo a la cama, 
donde se sento para examinarlo con tranquilidad. 
Winston se lo quito de las manos, fascinado, 
como siempre, por el aspecto suave, resbaloso, de 
agua de lluvia que tenia aquel cristal. 


— <^Que crees tu que sera esto? — dijo Julia. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


173 


'I don't think it's anything — I mean, I don't think 
it was ever put to any use. That's what I like 
about it. It's a little chunk of history that they've 
forgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred 
years ago, if one knew how to read it.' 


'And that picture over there' — she nodded at the 
engraving on the opposite wall — 'would that be 
a hundred years old?' 

'More. Two hundred, I dare say. One can't tell. 
It's impossible to discover the age of anything 
nowadays.' 

She went over to look at it. 'Here's where that 
brute stuck his nose out,' she said, kicking the 
wainscoting immediately below the picture. 
'What is this place? I've seen it before 
somewhere.' 


'It's a church, or at least it used to be. St Clement 
Danes its name was.' The fragment of rhyme 
that Mr Charrington had taught him came back 
into his head, and he added half-nostalgically: 
"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St 
Clement's!" 


To his astonishment she capped the line: 


'You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St 
Martin's, When will you pay me? say the bells 
of Old Bailey — ' 


'I can't remember how it goes on after that. But 
anyway I remember it ends up, "Here comes a 
candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper 
to chop off your head!"' 


— No creo que sea nada particular... Es decir, no 
creo que haya servido nunca para nada concreto. 
Eso es lo que me gusta precisamente de este 
objeto. Es un pedacito de historia que se han 
olvidado de cambiar; un mensaje que nos llega de 
hace un siglo y que nos dirfa muchas cosas si 
supieramos leerlo. 

— Y aquel cuadro — senalo Julia — ^tambien 
tendra cien anos? 


— Mas, seguramente doscientos. Es imposible 
saberlo con seguridad. En realidad hoy no se sabe 
la edad de nada. 


Julia se acerco a la pared de enfrente para 
examinar con detenimiento el grabado. Dijo: 

— ^Que sitio es este? Estoy segura de haber 
estado aqui alguna vez. 


— Es una iglesia o, por lo menos, solfa serio. Se 
llamaba San Clemente. 

— La incompleta cancion que el senor 
Charrington le habia ensenado volvio a sonar en 
la cabeza de Winston, que murmuro con 
nostalgia: Naranjas y limones, dicen las 

campanas de San Clemente. 

Y se quedo estupefacto al oir a Julia continuar: 

— Me debes tres peniques, dicen las campanas 
de San Martin. £ Cudndo me pagards?, dicen las 
campanas de Old Baily... 

— No puedo recordar como sigue. Pero se que 
termina asi: Aqui tienes una vela para alumbrarte 
cuando te acuestes. Aqui tienes un hacha para 
cortarte la cabeza. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


174 


It was like the two halves of a countersign. But 
there must be another line after 'the bells of Old 
Bailey'. Perhaps it could be dug out of Mr 
Charrington's memory, if he were suitably 
prompted. 


'Who taught you that?' he said. 


'My grandfather. He used to say it to me when I 
was a little girl. He was vaporized when I was 
eight — at any rate, he disappeared. I wonder 
what a lemon was,' she added inconsequently. 
'I've seen oranges. They're a kind of round 
yellow fruit with a thick skin.' 


'I can remember lemons,' said Winston. 'They 
were quite common in the fifties. They were so 
sour that it set your teeth on edge even to smell 
them.' 


'I bet that picture's got bugs behind it,' said Julia. 
'I'll take it down and give it a good clean some 
day. I suppose it's almost time we were leaving. 
I must start washing this paint off. What a bore! 
I'll get the lipstick off your face afterwards.' 


Winston did not get up for a few minutes more. 
The room was darkening. He turned over 
towards the light and lay gazing into the glass 
paperweight. The inexhaustibly interesting thing 
was not the fragment of coral but the interior of 
the glass itself. There was such a depth of it, and 
yet it was almost as transparent as air. It was as 
though the surface of the glass had been the arch 
of the sky, enclosing a tiny world with its 
atmosphere complete. He had the feeling that he 
could get inside it, and that in fact he was inside 
it, along with the mahogany bed and the gateleg 
table, and the clock and the steel engraving and 
the paperweight itself. The paperweight was the 
room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and 
his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of 
the crystal. 


Era como las dos mitades de una contrasena. Pero 
tenra que haber otro verso despues de «las 
campanas de Old Bailey ». Quiza el senor 
Charrington acabarra acordandose de este final. 


— ^Quien te lo enseno? — dijo Winston. 

— Mi abuelo. Solra cantarmelo cuando yo era 
nina. Lo vaporizaron teniendo yo unos ocho 
anos... No estoy segura, pero lo cierto es que 
desaparecio. Lo que no se, y me lo he preguntado 
muchas veces, es que serra un limon — anadio — . 
He visto naranjas. Es una especie de fruta 
redonda y amarillenta con una cascara muy fina. 

— Yo recuerdo los limones — dijo Winston — . 
Eran muy frecuentes en los anos cincuenta y 
tantos. Eran unas frutas tan agrias que rechinaban 
los dientes solo de olerlas. 


— Estoy segura de que detras de ese cuadro hay 
chinches — dijo Julia — . Lo descolgare cualquier 
dra para limpiarlo bien. Creo que ya es hora de 
que nos vayamos. jQue fastidio, ahora tengo que 
quitarme esta pintura! Empezare por mr y luego 
te limpiare a ti la cara. 


Winston permanecio unos minutos mas en la 
cama. Oscurecra en la habitacion. Volviose hacia 
la ventana y fijo la vista en el pisapapeles de 
cristal. Lo que le interesaba inagotablemente no 
era el pedacito de coral, sino el interior del cristal 
mismo. Tenra tanta profundidad, y sin embargo 
era transparente, como hecho con aire. Como si la 
superficie cristalina hubiera sido la cubierta del 
cielo que encerrase un diminuto mundo con toda 
su atmosfera. Tenra Winston la sensacion de que 
podrra penetrar en ese mundo cerrado, que ya 
estaba dentro de el con la cama de caoba y la 
mesa rota y el reloj y el grabado e incluso con el 
mismo pisapapeles. Sr, el pisapapeles era la 
habitacion en que se hallaba Winston, y el coral 
era la vida de Julia y la suya clavadas 
eternamente en el corazon del cristal. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


175 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


176 


Chapter 5 


Syme had vanished. A morning came, and he was 
missing from work: a few thoughtless people 
commented on his absence. On the next day nobody 
mentioned him. On the third day Winston went into 
the vestibule of the Records Department to look at 
the notice-board. One of the notices carried a 
printed list of the members of the Chess Committee, 
of whom Syme had been one. It looked almost 
exactly as it had looked before — nothing had been 
crossed out — but it was one name shorter. It was 
enough. Syme had ceased to exist: he had never 
existed. 


The weather was baking hot. In the labyrinthine 
Ministry the windowless, air-conditioned rooms 
kept their normal temperature, but outside the 
pavements scorched one's feet and the stench of the 
Tubes at the rush hours was a horror. The 
preparations for Hate Week were in full swing, and 
the staffs of all the Ministries were working 
overtime. Processions, meetings, military parades, 
lectures, waxworks, displays, film shows, telescreen 
programmes all had to be organized; stands had to 
be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs 
written, rumours circulated, photographs faked. 
Julia's unit in the Fiction Department had been 
taken off the production of novels and was rushing 
out a series of atrocity pamphlets. Winston, in 
addition to his regular work, spent long periods 
every day in going through back files of 'The Times' 
and altering and embellishing news items which 
were to be quoted in speeches. Late at night, when 
crowds of rowdy proles roamed the streets, the town 
had a curiously febrile air. The rocket bombs 
crashed oftener than ever, and sometimes in the far 
distance there were enormous explosions which no 
one could explain and about which there were wild 
rumours. 


The new tune which was to be the theme-song of 
Hate Week (the Hate Song, it was called) had 


CAPITULO V 


Syme habfa desaparecido. Una manana no acudio 
al trabajo: unos cuantos indiferentes comentaron 
su ausencia, pero al dfa siguiente nadie hablo de 
el. Al tercer dfa entro Winston en el vestfbulo del 
Departamento de Registro para mirar el tablon de 
anuncios. Uno de estos era una lista impresa con 
los miembros del Comite de Ajedrez, al que Syme 
habfa pertenecido. La lista era identica a la de 
antes — nada habfa sido tachado en ella — , pero 
contenfa un nombre menos. Bastaba con eso. 
Syme habfa dejado de existir. Es mas, nunca habfa 
existido. 


Hacfa un calor horrible. En el laberfntico 
Ministerio las habitaciones sin ventanas y con 
buena refrigeracion mantenfan una temperatura 
normal, pero en la calle el pavimento echaba 
humo y el ambiente del metro a las horas de 
aglomeracion era espantoso. Segufan en pleno 
hervor los preparativos para la Semana del Odio y 
los funcionarios de todos los Ministerios 
dedicaban a esta tarea horas extraordinarias. Habfa 
que organizar los desfiles, manifestaciones, 
conferencias, exposiciones de figuras de cera, 
programas cinematograficos y de telepantalla, 
erigir tribunas, construir efigies, inventar 
consignas, escribir canciones, extender rumores, 
falsificar fotograffas... La seccion de Julia en el 
Departamento de Novela habfa interrumpido su 
tarea habitual y confeccionaba una serie de 
panfletos de atrocidades. Winston, aparte de su 
trabajo corriente, pasaba mucho tiempo cada dfa 
revisando colecciones del Times y alterando o 
embelleciendo noticias que iban a ser citadas en 
los discursos. Hasta ultima hora de la noche, 
cuando las multitudes de los incultos proles 
paseaban por las calles, la ciudad presentaba un 
aspecto febril. Las bombas cohete cafan con mas 
frecuencia que nunca y a veces se percibfan alia 
muy lejos enormes explosiones que nadie podfa 
explicar y sobre las cuales se esparcfan insensatos 
rumores. 


La nueva cancion que habfa de ser el tema de la 
Semana del Odio (se llamaba la Cancion del Odio) 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


in 


already been composed and was being endlessly 
plugged on the telescreens. It had a savage, barking 
rhythm which could not exactly be called music, but 
resembled the beating of a drum. Roared out by 
hundreds of voices to the tramp of marching feet, it 
was terrifying. The proles had taken a fancy to it, 
and in the midnight streets it competed with the 
still-popular 'It was only a hopeless fancy'. The 
Parsons children played it at all hours of the night 
and day, unbearably, on a comb and a piece of toilet 
paper. Winston's evenings were fuller than ever. 
Squads of volunteers, organized by Parsons, were 
preparing the street for Hate Week, stitching 
banners, painting posters, erecting flagstaffs on the 
roofs, and perilously slinging wires across the street 
for the reception of streamers. Parsons boasted that 
Victory Mansions alone would display four hundred 
metres of bunting. He was in his native element and 
as happy as a lark. The heat and the manual work 
had even given him a pretext for reverting to shorts 
and an open shirt in the evenings. He was 
everywhere at once, pushing, pulling, sawing, 
hammering, improvising, jollying everyone along 
with comradely exhortations and giving out from 
every fold of his body what seemed an 
inexhaustible supply of acrid- smelling sweat. 


A new poster had suddenly appeared all over 
London. It had no caption, and represented simply 
the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three or 
four metres high, striding forward with 
expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, 
a submachine gun pointed from his hip. From 
whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle 
of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed 
to be pointed straight at you. The thing had been 
plastered on every blank space on every wall, even 
outnumbering the portraits of Big Brother. The 
proles, normally apathetic about the war, were 
being lashed into one of their periodical frenzies of 
patriotism. As though to harmonize with the general 
mood, the rocket bombs had been killing larger 
numbers of people than usual. One fell on a 
crowded film theatre in Stepney, burying several 
hundred victims among the ruins. The whole 
population of the neighbourhood turned out for a 
long, trailing funeral which went on for hours and 


habia sido ya compuesta y era repetida 
incansablemente por las telepantallas. Tenia un 
ritmo salvaje, de ladridos y no podia llamarse con 
exactitud musica. Mas bien era como el redoble de 
un tambor. Centenares de voces rugian con 
aquellos sones que se mezclaban con el chcis-chcis 
de sus renqueantes pies. Era aterrador. Los proles 
se habian aficionado a la cancion, y por las calles, 
a media noche, competia con la que seguia siendo 
popular: «Era una ilusion sin esperanza». Los 
ninos de Parsons la tocaban a todas horas, de un 
modo alucinante, en su peine cubierto de papel 
higienico. Winston tenia las tardes mas ocupadas 
que nunca. Brigadas de voluntaries organizadas 
por Parsons preparaban la calle para la Semana del 
Odio cosiendo banderas y estandartes, pintando 
carteles, clavando palos en los tejados para que 
sirvieran de astas y tendiendo peligrosamente 
alambres a traves de la calle para colgar pancartas. 
Parsons se jactaba de que las casas de la Victoria 
era el unico grupo que desplegaria cuatrocientos 
metros de propaganda. Se hallaba en su elemento 
y era mas feliz que una alondra. El calor y el 
trabajo manual le habian dado pretexto para 
ponerse otra vez los shorts y la camisa abierta. 
Estaba en todas partes a la vez, empujaba, tiraba, 
aserraba, daba tremendos martillazos, 
improvisaba, aconsejaba a todos y expulsaba 
prodigamente una inagotable cantidad de sudor. 

En todo Londres habia aparecido de pronto un 
nuevo cartel que se repetia infinitamente. No tenia 
palabras. Se limitaba a representar, en una altura 
de tres o cuatro metros, la monstruosa figura de un 
soldado eurasiatico que parecia avanzar hacia el 
que lo miraba, una cara mogolica inexpresiva, 
unas botas enormes y, apoyado en la cadera, un 
fusil ametralladora a punto de disparar. Desde 
cualquier parte que mirase uno el cartel, la boca 
del arma, ampliada por la perspectiva, por el 
escorzo, parecia apuntarle a uno sin remision. No 
habia quedado ni un solo hueco en la ciudad sin 
aprovechar para colocar aquel monstruo. Y lo 
curioso era que habia mas retratos de este enemigo 
simbolico que del propio Gran Hermano. Los 
proles, que normalmente se mostraban apaticos 
respecto a la guerra, recibian asi un trallazo para 
que entraran en uno de sus periodicos frenesies de 
patriotismo. Como para armonizar con el estado 
de animo general, las bombas cohetes habian 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


178 


was in effect an indignation meeting. Another bomb 
fell on a piece of waste ground which was used as a 
playground and several dozen children were blown 
to pieces. There were further angry demonstrations, 
Goldstein was burned in effigy, hundreds of copies 
of theposter of the Eurasian soldier were torn down 
and added to the flames, and a number of shops 
were looted in the turmoil; then a rumour flew 
round that spies were directing the rocket bombs by 
means of wireless waves, and an old couple who 
were suspected of being of foreign extraction had 
their house set on fire and perished of suffocation. 


In the room over Mr Charrington's shop, when they 
could get there, Julia and Winston lay side by side 
on a stripped bed under the open window, naked for 
the sake of coolness. The rat had never come back, 
but the bugs had multiplied hideously in the heat. It 
did not seem to matter. Dirty or clean, the room was 
paradise. As soon as they arrived they would 
sprinkle everything with pepper bought on the black 
market, tear off their clothes, and make love with 
sweating bodies, then fall asleep and wake to find 
that the bugs had rallied and were massing for the 
counter-attack. 


Four, five, six-seven times they met during the 
month of June. Winston had dropped his habit of 
drinking gin at all hours. He seemed to have lost the 
need for it. He had grown fatter, his varicose ulcer 
had subsided, leaving only a brown stain on the skin 
above his ankle, his fits of coughing in the early 
morning had stopped. The process of life had 
ceased to be intolerable, he had no longer any 
impulse to make faces at the telescreen or shout 
curses at the top of his voice. Now that they had a 
secure hiding-place, almost a home, it did not even 
seem a hardship that they could only meet 
infrequently and for a couple of hours at a time. 
What mattered was that the room over the junk- 
shop should exist. To know that it was there, 
inviolate, was almost the same as being in it. The 


matado a mas gente que de costumbre. Una cayo 
en un local de cine de Stepney, enterrando en las 
ruinas a varios centenares de victimas. Todos los 
habitantes del barrio asistieron a un imponente 
entierro que duro muchas horas y que en realidad 
constituyo un mi tin patriotico. Otra bomba cayo 
en un solar inmenso que utilizaban los ninos para 
jugar y varias docenas de estos fueron 
despedazados. Hubo muchas mas manifestaciones 
indignadas, Goldstein fue quemado en efigie, 
centenares de carteles representando al soldado 
eurasiatico fueron rasgados y arrojados a las 
llamas y muchas tiendas fueron asaltadas. Luego 
se esparcio el rumor de que unos espias dirigian 
los cohetes mortiferos por medio de la radio y un 
anciano matrimonio acusado de extranjerfa 
perecio abrasado cuando las turbas incendiaron su 
casa. 


En la habitacion encima de la tienda del senor 
Charrington, cuando podian ir alii, Julia y 
Winston se quedaban echados uno junto al otro en 
la desnuda cama bajo la ventana abierta, desnudos 
para estar mas frescos. La rata no volvio, pero las 
chinches se multiplicaban odiosamente con ese 
calor. No importaba. Sucia o limpia, la habitacion 
era un paraiso. Al llegar echaban pimienta 
comprada en el mercado negro sobre todos los 
objetos, se sacaban la ropa y hacian el amor con 
los cuerpos sudorosos, luego se dorrman y al 
despertar se encontraban con que las chinches se 
estaban formando para el contraataque. 


Cuatro, cinco, seis, hasta siete veces se 
encontraron all! durante el mes de junio. Winston 
habia dejado de beber ginebra a todas horas. Le 
parecia que ya no lo necesitaba. Habia engordado. 
Sus varices ya no le molestaban; en realidad casi 
habian desaparecido y por las mananas ya no tosia 
al despertarse. La vida habia dejado de serie 
intolerable, no sentia la necesidad de hacerle 
muecas a la telepantalla ni el sufrimiento de no 
poder gritar palabrotas cada vez que oia un 
discurso. Ahora que casi tenian un hogar, no les 
parecia mortificante reunirse tan pocas veces y 
solo un par de horas cada vez. Lo importante es 
que existiese aquella habitacion; saber que estaba 
alii era casi lo mismo que hallarse en ella. Aquel 
dormitorio era un mundo completo, una bolsa del 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


179 


room was a world, a pocket of the past where 
extinct animals could walk. Mr Charrington, 
thought Winston, was another extinct animal. He 
usually stopped to talk with Mr Charrington for a 
few minutes on his way upstairs. The old man 
seemed seldom or never to go out of doors, and on 
the other hand to have almost no customers. He led 
a ghostlike existence between the tiny, dark shop, 
and an even tinier back kitchen where he prepared 
his meals and which contained, among other things, 
an unbelievably ancient gramophone with an 
enormous horn. He seemed glad of the opportunity 
to talk. Wandering about among his worthless 
stock, with his long nose and thick spectacles and 
his bowed shoulders in the velvet jacket, he had 
always vaguely the air of being a collector rather 
than a tradesman. With a sort of faded enthusiasm 
he would finger this scrap of rubbish or that — a 
china bottle-stopper, the painted lid of a broken 
snuffbox, a pinchbeck locket containing a strand of 
some long-dead baby's hair — never asking that 
Winston should buy it, merely that he should 
admire it. To talk to him was like listening to the 
tinkling of a worn-out musical-box. He had dragged 
out from the corners of his memory some more 
fragments of forgotten rhymes. There was one about 
four and twenty blackbirds, and another about a 
cow with a crumpled hom, and another about the 
death of poor Cock Robin. 'It just occurred to me 
you might be interested,' he would say with a 
deprecating little laugh whenever he produced a 
new fragment. But he could never recall more than 
a few lines of any one rhyme. 


Both of them knew — in a way, it was never out of 
their minds that what was now happening could not 
last long. There were times when the fact of 
impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they 
lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of 
despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping 
at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is 
within five minutes of striking. But there were also 
times when they had the illusion not only of safety 
but of permanence. So long as they were actually in 
this room, they both felt, no harm could come to 
them. Getting there was difficult and dangerous, but 
the room itself was sanctuary. It was as when 
Winston had gazed into the heart of the 
paperweight, with the feeling that it would be 
possible to get inside that glassy world, and that 


pasado donde animales de especies extinguidas 
podlan circular. Tambien el senor Charrington, 
penso Winston, pertenecla a una especie 
extinguida. Solfa hablar con el un rato antes de 
subir. El viejo salfa poco, por lo visto, y apenas 
tenia clientes. Llevaba una existencia fantasmal 
entre la minuscula tienda y la cocina, todavla mas 
pequena, donde el mismo se guisaba y donde 
tenia, entre otras cosas raras, un gramofono 
increlblemente viejo con una enorme bocina. 
Parecla alegrarse de poder charlar. Entre sus 
inutiles mercanclas, con su larga nariz y gruesos 
lentes, encorvado bajo su chaqueta de terciopelo, 
tenia mas aire de coleccionista que de mercader. 
De vez en cuando, con un entusiasmo muy 
moderado, cogla alguno de los objetos que tenia a 
la venta, sin preguntarle nunca a Winston si lo 
querla comprar, sino ensenandoselo solo para que 
lo admirase. Hablar con el era como escuchar el 
tintineo de una desvencijada cajita de musica. 
Algunas veces, se sacaba de los desvanes de su 
memoria algunos polvorientos retazos de 
canciones olvidadas. Habla una sobre veinticuatro 
pajaros negros y otra sobre una vaca con un 
cuerno torcido y otra que relataba la muerte del 
pobre gallo Robin. «He pensado que podrfa 
gustarle a usted» — decla con una risita tlmida 
cuando repetla algunos versos sueltos de aquellas 
canciones. Pero nunca recordaba ninguna cancion 
completa. 


Julia y Winston sablan perfectamente — en 
verdad, ni un solo momento dejaban de tenerlo 
presente — que aquello no podia durar. A veces la 
sensacion de que la muerte se cemla sobre ellos 
les resultaba tan solida como el lecho donde 
estaban echados y se abrazaban con una 
desesperada sensualidad, como un alma 
condenada aferrandose a su ultimo rato de placer 
cuando faltan cinco minutos para que suene el 
reloj. Pero tambien habla veces en que no solo se 
sentlan seguros, sino que tenlan una sensacion de 
permanencia. Crelan entonces que nada podrla 
ocurrirles mientras estuvieran en su habitacion. 
Llegar hasta all! era diflcil y peligroso, pero el 
refugio era invulnerable. Igualmente, Winston, 
mirando el corazon del pisapapeles, habla sentido 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


180 


once inside it time could be arrested. Often they 
gave themselves up to daydreams of escape. Their 
luck would hold indefinitely, and they would carry 
on their intrigue, just like this, for the remainder of 
their natural lives. Or Katharine would die, and by 
subtle manoeuvrings Winston and Julia would 
succeed in getting married. Or they would commit 
suicide together. Or they would disappear, alter 
themselves out of recognition, learn to speak with 
proletarian accents, get jobs in a factory and live out 
their lives undetected in a back-street. It was all 
nonsense, as they both knew. In reality there was no 
escape. Even the one plan that was practicable, 
suicide, they had no intention of carrying out. To 
hang on from day to day and from week to week, 
spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an 
unconquerable instinct, just as one's lungs will 
always draw the next breath so long as there is air 
available. 


Sometimes, too, they talked of engaging in active 
rebellion against the Party, but with no notion of 
how to take the first step. Even if the fabulous 
Brotherhood was a reality, there still remained the 
difficulty of finding one's way into it. He told her of 
the strange intimacy that existed, or seemed to exist, 
between himself and O'Brien, and of the impulse he 
sometimes felt, simply to walk into O'Brien's 
presence, announce that he was the enemy of the 
Party, and demand his help. Curiously enough, this 
did not strike her as an impossibly rash thing to do. 
She was used to judging people by their faces, and 
it seemed natural to her that Winston should believe 
O'Brien to be trustworthy on the strength of a single 
flash of the eyes. Moreover she took it for granted 
that everyone, or nearly everyone, secretly hated the 
Party and would break the rules if he thought it safe 
to do so. But she refused to believe that widespread, 
organized opposition existed or could exist. The 
tales about Goldstein and his underground army, 
she said, were simply a lot of rubbish which the 
Party had invented for its own purposes and which 
you had to pretend to believe in. Times beyond 
number, at Party rallies and spontaneous 
demonstrations, she had shouted at the top of her 
voice for the execution of people whose names she 


como si fuera posible penetrar en aquel mundo de 
cristal y que una vez dentro el tiempo se podrfa 
detener. Con frecuencia se entregaban ambos a 
ensuenos de fuga. Se imaginaban que tendrfan una 
suerte magnffica por tiempo indefinido y que 
podrfan continuar llevando aquella vida 
clandestina durante toda su vida natural. O bien 
Katharine morirfa, lo cual les permitirfa a Winston 
y Julia, mediante sutiles maniobras, llegar a 
casarse. O se suicidarian juntos. O desaparecerfan, 
disfrazandose de tal modo que nadie los 
reconocerfa, aprendiendo a hablar con acento 
proletario, logrando trabajo en una fabrica y 
viviendo siempre, sin ser descubiertos, en una 
callejuela como aquella. Los dos sablan que todo 
esto eran tonterfas. En realidad no habia 
escapatoria. E incluso el unico plan posible, el 
suicidio, no estaban dispuestos a llevarlo a efecto. 
Dejar pasar los dlas y las semanas, devanando un 
presente sin futuro, era lo instintivo, lo mismo que 
nuestros pulmones ejecutan el movimiento 
respiratorio siguiente mientras tienen aire 
disponible. 

Ademas, a veces hablaban de rebelarse contra el 
Partido de un modo activo, pero no tenfan idea de 
como dar el primer paso. Incluso si la fabulosa 
Hermandad existla, quedaba la dificultad de entrar 
en ella. Winston le conto a Julia la extrana 
intimidad que habia, o parecla haber, entre el y 
O'Brien, y del impulso que sentla a veces de 
salirle al encuentro a O'Brien y decirle que era 
enemigo del Partido y pedirle ayuda. Era muy 
curioso que a Julia no le pareciera una locura 
semejante proyecto. Estaba acostumbrada a juzgar 
a las gentes por su cara y le parecla natural que 
Winston confiase en O'Brien basandose solamente 
en un destello de sus ojos. Ademas, Julia daba por 
cierto que todos, o casi todos, odiaban 
secretamente al Partido e infringirfan sus normas 
si crelan poderlo hacer con impunidad. Pero se 
negaba a admitir que existiera ni pudiera existir 
jamas una oposicion amplia y organizada. Los 
cuentos sobre Goldstein y su ejercito subterraneo, 
decla, eran solo un monton de estupideces que el 
Partido se habia inventado para sus propios fines y 
en los que todos finglan creer. Innumerable s 
veces, en manifestaciones espontaneas y 
asambleas del Partido, habia gritado Julia con 
todas sus fuerzas pidiendo la ejecucion de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


181 


had never heard and in whose supposed crimes she 
had not the faintest belief. When public trials were 
happening she had taken her place in the 
detachments from the Youth League who 
surrounded the courts from morning to night, 
chanting at intervals 'Death to the traitors!' During 
the Two Minutes Hate she always excelled all 
others in shouting insults at Goldstein. Yet she had 
only the dimmest idea of who Goldstein was and 
what doctrines he was supposed to represent. She 
had grown up since the Revolution and was too 
young to remember the ideological battles of the 
fifties and sixties. Such a thing as an independent 
political movement was outside her imagination: 
and in any case the Party was invincible. It would 
always exist, and it would always be the same. You 
could only rebel against it by secret disobedience 
or, at most, by isolated acts of violence such as 
killing somebody or blowing something up. 


In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, 
and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once 
when he happened in some connexion to mention 
the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying 
casually that in her opinion the war was not 
happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on 
London were probably fired by the Government of 
Oceania itself, 'just to keep people frightened'. This 
was an idea that had literally never occurred to him. 
She also stirred a sort of envy in him by telling him 
that during the Two Minutes Hate her great 
difficulty was to avoid bursting out laughing. But 
she only questioned the teachings of the Party when 
they in some way touched upon her own life. Often 
she was ready to accept the official mythology, 
simply because the difference between truth and 
falsehood did not seem important to her. She 
believed, for instance, having learnt it at school, that 
the Party had invented aeroplanes. (In his own 
schooldays, Winston remembered, in the late fifties, 
it was only the helicopter that the Party claimed to 
have invented; a dozen years later, when Julia was 
at school, it was already claiming the aeroplane; one 
generation more, and it would be claiming the 
steam engine.) And when he told her that 
aeroplanes had been in existence before he was born 
and long before the Revolution, the fact struck her 
as totally uninteresting. After all, what did it matter 


personas cuyos nombres nunca habla oldo y en 
cuyos supuestos crfmenes no crera ni mucho 
menos. Cuando tenran efecto los procesos 
publicos, Julia acudra entre las jovenes de la Liga 
juvenil que rodeaban el edificio de los tribunales 
noche y dla y gritaba con ellas: «jMuerte a los 
traidores!». Durante los Dos Minutos de Odio 
siempre insultaba a Goldstein con mas energra que 
los demas. Sin embargo, no tenia la menor idea de 
quien era Goldstein ni de las doctrinas que pudiera 
representar. Habla crecido dentro de la 
Revolucion y era demasiado joven para recordar 
las batallas ideologicas de los anos cincuenta y 
sesenta y tantos. No podra imaginar un 
movimiento politico independiente; y en todo caso 
el Partido era invencible. Siempre existirfa. Y 
nunca iba a cambiar ni en lo mas mlnimo. Lo mas 
que podra hacerse era rebelarse secretamente o, en 
ciertos casos, por actos aislados de violencia como 
matar a alguien o poner una bomba en cualquier 
sitio. 


En cierto modo, Julia era menos susceptible que 
Winston a la propaganda del Partido. Una vez se 
refirio el a la guerra contra Eurasia y se quedo 
asombrado cuando ella, sin concederle 
importancia a la cosa, dio por cierto que no habra 
tal guerra. Casi con toda seguridad, las bombas 
cohete que caran diariamente sobre Londres eran 
lanzadas por el mismo Gobierno de Oceania solo 
para que la gente estuviera siempre asustada. A 
Winston nunca se le habla ocurrido esto. Tambien 
desperto en el Julia una especie de envidia al 
confesarle que durante los dos Minutos de Odio lo 
peor para ella era contenerse y no romper a relr a 
carcajadas, pero Julia nunca discutla las 
ensenanzas del Partido a no ser que afectaran a su 
propia vida. Estaba dispuesta a aceptar la 
mitologla oficial, porque no le parecla importante 
la diferencia entre verdad y falsedad. Crera por 
ejemplo — porque lo habla aprendido en la 
escuela — que el Partido habla inventado los 
aeroplanos. (En cuanto a Winston, recordaba que 
en su epoca escolar, en los anos cincuenta y 
tantos, el Partido no pretendla haber inventado, en 
el campo de la aviacion, mas que el autogiro; una 
docena de anos despues, cuando Julia iba a la 
escuela, se trataba ya del aeroplano en general; al 
cabo de otra generacion, asegurarlan haber 
descubierto la maquina de vapor.) Y cuando 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


182 


who had invented aeroplanes? It was rather more of 
a shock to him when he discovered from some 
chance remark that she did not remember that 
Oceania, four years ago, had been at war with 
Eastasia and at peace with Eurasia. It was true that 
she regarded the whole war as a sham: but 
apparently she had not even noticed that the name 
of the enemy had changed. 'I thought we'd always 
been at war with Eurasia,' she said vaguely. It 
frightened him a little. The invention of aeroplanes 
dated from long before her birth, but the switchover 
in the war had happened only four years ago, well 
after she was grown up. He argued with her about it 
for perhaps a quarter of an hour. In the end he 
succeeded in forcing her memory back until she did 
dimly recall that at one time Eastasia and not 
Eurasia had been the enemy. But the issue still 
struck her as unimportant. 'Who cares?' she said 
impatiently. 'It's always one bloody war after 
another, and one knows the news is all lies anyway.' 


Sometimes he talked to her of the Records 
Department and the impudent forgeries that he 
committed there. Such things did not appear to 
horrify her. She did not feel the abyss opening 
beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming 
truths. He told her the story of Jones, Aaronson, and 
Rutherford and the momentous slip of paper which 
he had once held between his fingers. It did not 
make much impression on her. At first, indeed, she 
failed to grasp the point of the story. 


'Were they friends of yours?' she said. 


'No, I never knew them. They were Inner Party 
members. Besides, they were far older men than I 
was. They belonged to the old days, before the 
Revolution. I barely knew them by sight.' 


'Then what was there to worry about? People are 


Winston le dijo que los aeroplanos existian ya 
antes de nacer el y mucho antes de la Revolucion, 
esto le parecio a la joven carecer de todo interes. 
^Que importaba, despues de todo, quien hubiese 
inventado los aeroplanos? Mucho mas le llamo la 
atencion a Winston que Julia no recordaba que 
Oceania habia estado en guerra, hacia cuatro anos, 
con Asia Oriental y en paz con Eurasia. Desde 
luego, para ella la guerra era una filfa, pero por lo 
visto no se habia dado cuenta de que el nombre 
del enemigo habia cambiado. «Yo creia que 
siempre habiamos estado en guerra con Eurasia», 
dijo en tono vago. Esto le impresiono mucho a 
Winston. El invento de los aeroplanos era muy 
anterior a cuando ella nacio, pero el cambiazo en 
la guerra solo habia sucedido cuatro anos antes, 
cuando ya Julia era una muchacha mayor. Estuvo 
discutiendo con ella sobre esto durante un cuarto 
de hora. A1 final, logro hacerle recordar 
confusamente que hubo una epoca en que el 
enemigo habia sido Asia Oriental y no Eurasia. 
Pero ella seguia sin comprender que esto tuviera 
importancia. «i,Que mas da?», dijo con 
impaciencia. «Siempre ha sido una punetera 
guerra tras otra y de sobras sabemos que las 
noticias de guerra son todas una pura mentira.» 

A veces le hablaba Winston del Departamento de 
Registro y de las descaradas falsificaciones que el 
perpetraba alii por encargo del Partido. Todo esto 
no la escandalizaba. El le conto la historia de 
Jones, Aaronson y Rutherford, asi como el 
trascendental papelito que habia tenido en su 
mano casualmente. Nada de esto la impresionaba. 
Incluso le costaba trabajo comprender el sentido 
de lo que Winston decia. 


— ^Es que eran amigos tuyos? — le pregunto. 

— No, no los conocia personalmente. Eran 
miembros del Partido Interior. Ademas, eran 
mucho mayores que yo. Conocieron la epoca 
anterior a la Revolucion. Yo solo los conocia de 
vista. 


— Entonces ^por que te preocupas? Todos los 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


183 


being killed off all the time, aren't they?' 


He tried to make her understand. 'This was an 
exceptional case. It wasn't just a question of 
somebody being killed. Do you realize that the past, 
starting from yesterday, has been actually 
abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid 
objects with no words attached to them, like that 
lump of glass there. Already we know almost 
literally nothing about the Revolution and the years 
before the Revolution. Every record has been 
destroyed or falsified, every book has been 
rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every 
statue and street and building has been renamed, 
every date has been altered. And that process is 
continuing day by day and minute by minute. 
History has stopped. Nothing exists except an 
endless present in which the Party is always right. I 
know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it 
would never be possible for me to prove it, even 
when I did the falsification myself. After the thing 
is done, no evidence ever remains. The only 
evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know 
with any certainty that any other human being 
shares my memories. Just in that one instance, in 
my whole life, I did possess actual concrete 
evidence after the event — years after it.' 


'And what good was that?' 


'It was no good, because I threw it away a few 
minutes later. But if the same thing happened today, 
I should keep it.' 

'Well, I wouldn't!' said Julia. 'I'm quite ready to take 
risks, but only for something worth while, not for 
bits of old newspaper. What could you have done 
with it even if you had kept it?' 


'Not much, perhaps. But it was evidence. It might 
have planted a few doubts here and there, supposing 


dfas matan gente; es lo corriente. 

Intento hacerse comprender: 

— Ese era un caso excepcional. No se trataba solo 
de que mataran a alguien. ^No te das cuenta de 
que el pasado, incluso el de ayer mismo, ha sido 
suprimido? Si sobrevive, es unicamente en unos 
cuantos objetos solidos, y sin etiquetas que los 
distingan, como este pedazo de cristal. Y ya 
apenas conocemos nada de la Revolucion y 
mucho menos de los anos anteriores a ella. Todos 
los documentos han sido destruidos o falsificados, 
todos los libros han sido otra vez escritos, los 
cuadros vueltos a pintar, las estatuas, las calles y 
los edificios tienen nuevos nombres y todas las 
fechas han sido alteradas. Ese proceso continua 
dla tras dla y minuto tras minuto. La Historia se ha 
parado en seco. No existe mas que un 
interminable presente en el cual el Partido lleva 
siempre razon. Naturalmente, yo se que el pasado 
esta falsificado, pero nunca podrfa probarlo 
aunque se trate de falsificaciones realizadas por 
ml. Una vez que he cometido el hecho, no quedan 
pruebas. La unica evidencia se halla en mi propia 
mente y no puedo asegurar con certeza que exista 
otro ser humano con la misma conviccion que yo. 
Solamente en ese ejemplo que te he citado llegue 
a tener en mis manos una prueba irrefutable de la 
falsificacion del pasado despues de haber 
ocurrido; anos despues. 


— Y total, ^que interes puede tener eso? ^De que 
te sirve saberlo? 


— De nada, porque inmediatamente destrul la 
prueba. Pero si hoy volviera a tener una ocasion 
semejante guardarla el papel. 

— jPues yo no! — dijo Julia — . Estoy dispuesta a 
arriesgarme, pero solo por algo que merezca la 
pena, no por unos trozos de papel viejo. <;,Quc 
habrfas hecho con esa fotografla si la hubieras 
guardado? 


— Quizas nada de particular. Pero al fin y al cabo, 
se trataba de una prueba y habria sembrado 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


184 


that I'd dared to show it to anybody. I don't imagine 
that we can alter anything in our own lifetime. But 
one can imagine little knots of resistance springing 
up here and there — small groups of people banding 
themselves together, and gradually growing, and 
even leaving a few records behind, so that the next 
generations can carry on where we leave off.' 


'I'm not interested in the next generation, dear. I'm 
interested in US.' 


'You're only a rebel from the waist downwards,' he 
told her. 


She thought this brilliantly witty and flung her arms 
round him in delight. 

In the ramifications of party doctrine she had not 
the faintest interest. Whenever he began to talk of 
the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability 
of the past, and the denial of objective reality, and 
to use Newspeak words, she became bored and 
confused and said that she never paid any attention 
to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all 
rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it? She 
knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was 
all one needed. If he persisted in talking of such 
subjects, she had a disconcerting habit of falling 
asleep. She was one of those people who can go to 
sleep at any hour and in any position. Talking to 
her, he realized how easy it was to present an 
appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp 
whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the 
world-view of the Party imposed itself most 
successfully on people incapable of understanding 
it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant 
violations of reality, because they never fully 
grasped the enormity of what was demanded of 
them, and were not sufficiently interested in public 
events to notice what was happening. By lack of 
understanding they remained sane. They simply 
swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did 
them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just 
as a grain of com will pass undigested through the 
body of a bird. 


algunas dudas aqul y alia, suponiendo que me 
hubiese atrevido a ensenarsela a alguien. No creo 
que podamos cambiar el curso de los 
acontecimientos mientras vivamos. Pero es 
posible que se creen algunos centros de 
resistencia, grupos de descontentos que vayan 
aumentando e incluso dejando testimonios tras 
ellos de modo que la generacion siguiente pueda 
recoger la antorcha y continuar nuestra obra. 

— No me interesa la proxima generacion, carino. 
Me interesa nosotros. 


— No eres una rebelde mas que de cintura para 
abajo — dijo el. 

Ella encontro esto muy divertido y le echo los 
brazos al cuello, complacida. 

Julia no se interesaba en absoluto por las 
ramificaciones de la doctrina del partido. Cuando 
Winston hablaba de los principios de Ingsoc, el 
doblepensar, la mutabilidad del pasado y la 
degeneracion de la realidad objetiva y se ponla a 
emplear palabras de neolengua, la joven se aburrfa 
espantosamente, ademas de hacerse un llo, y se 
disculpaba diciendo que nunca se habla fijado en 
esas cosas. Si se sabla que todo ello era un 
absoluto camelo, £para que preocuparse? Lo unico 
que a ella le interesaba era saber cuando tenia que 
vitorear y cuando le correspondla abuchear. Si 
Winston persistla en hablar de tales temas, Julia se 
quedaba dormida del modo mas desconcertante. 
Era una de esas personas que pueden dormirse en 
cualquier momento y en las posturas mas 
increlbles. Hablandole, comprendla Winston que 
facil era presentar toda la apariencia de la 
ortodoxia sin tener idea de que significaba 
realmente lo ortodoxo. En cierto modo la vision 
del mundo inventada por el Partido se imponla 
con excelente exito a la gente incapaz de 
comprenderla. Hacla aceptar las violaciones mas 
flagrantes de la realidad porque nadie comprendla 
del todo la enormidad de lo que se les exigla ni se 
interesaba lo suficiente por los acontecimientos 
publicos para darse cuenta de lo que ocurrfa. Por 
falta de comprension, todos eran pollticamente 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


185 


sanos y fieles. Sencillamente, se lo tragaban todo 
y lo que se tragaban no les sentaba mal porque no 
les dejaba residuos lo mismo que un grano de 
trigo puede pasar, sin ser digerido y sin hacerle 
dano, por el cuerpecito de un pajaro. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


186 


Chapter 6 

It had happened at last. The expected message had 
come. All his life, it seemed to him, he had been 
waiting for this to happen. 


He was walking down the long corridor at the 
Ministry and he was almost at the spot where Julia 
had slipped the note into his hand when he became 
aware that someone larger than himself was 
walking just behind him. The person, whoever it 
was, gave a small cough, evidently as a prelude to 
speaking. Winston stopped abruptly and turned. It 
was O'Brien. 


At last they were face to face, and it seemed that 
his only impulse was to run away. His heart 
bounded violently. He would have been incapable 
of speaking. O'Brien, however, had continued 
forward in the same movement, laying a friendly 
hand for a moment on Winston's arm, so that the 
two of them were walking side by side. He began 
speaking with the peculiar grave courtesy that 
differentiated him from the majority of Inner Party 
members. 


'I had been hoping for an opportunity of talking to 
you,' he said. 'I was reading one of your Newspeak 
articles in 'The Times' the other day. You take a 
scholarly interest in Newspeak, I believe?' 


Winston had recovered part of his self-possession. 
'Hardly scholarly,' he said. 'I'm only an amateur. It's 
not my subject. I have never had anything to do 
with the actual construction of the language.' 


'But you write it very elegantly,' said O'Brien. 'That 
is not only my own opinion. I was talking recently 
to a friend of yours who is certainly an expert. His 
name has slipped my memory for the moment.' 


CAPITULO VI 


Por fin, habia ocurrido. Habia llegado el 
esperado mensaje. Le parecia a Winston que toda 
su vida habia estado esperando que esto 
sucediera. 


Iba por el largo pasillo del Ministerio y casi 
habia llegado al sitio donde Julia le deslizo aquel 
dia en la mano su declaracion. La persona, quien 
quiera que fuese, tosio ligeramente sin duda 
como preludio para hablar. Winston se detuvo en 
seco y volvio la cara. Era O'Brien. 


Por fin, se hallaban cara a cara y el unico 
impulso que sentia Winston era emprender la 
huida. El corazon le latia a toda velocidad. No 
habrfa podido hablar en ese momento. Sin 
embargo, O'Brien, poniendole amistosamente 
una mano en el hombro, siguio andando junto a 
el. Empezo a hablar con su caracterfstica 
cortesia, seria y suave, que le diferenciaba de la 
mayor parte de los miembros del Partido Interior. 


— He estado esperando una oportunidad de 
hablar contigo — le dijo — ; estuve leyendo uno 
de tus articulos en neolengua publicados en el 
Times. Tengo entendido que te interesa, desde un 
punto de vista erudito, la neolengua. 

Winston habia recobrado animos, aunque solo en 
parte. 

— No muy erudito — dijo — . Soy solo un 
aficionado. No es mi especialidad. Nunca he 
tenido que ocuparme de la estructura interna del 
idioma. 


— Pero lo escribes con mucha elegancia — dijo 
O'Brien — . Y esta no es solo una opinion mia. 
Estuve hablando recientemente con un amigo 
tuyo que es un especialista en cuestiones 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


187 


Again Winston's heart stirred painfully. It was 
inconceivable that this was anything other than a 
reference to Syme. But Syme was not only dead, he 
was abolished, an unperson. Any identifiable 
reference to him would have been mortally 
dangerous. O'Brien's remark must obviously have 
been intended as a signal, a codeword. By sharing a 
small act of thoughtcrime he had turned the two of 
them into accomplices. They had continued to 
stroll slowly down the corridor, but now O'Brien 
halted. With the curious, disarming friendliness 
that he always managed to put in to the gesture he 
resettled his spectacles on his nose. Then he went 
on: 


'What I had really intended to say was that in your 
article I noticed you had used two words which 
have become obsolete. But they have only become 
so very recently. Have you seen the tenth edition of 
the Newspeak Dictionary?' 

'No,' said Winston. 'I didn't think it had been issued 
yet. We are still using the ninth in the Records 
Department.' 


'The tenth edition is not due to appear for some 
months, I believe. But a few advance copies have 
been circulated. I have one myself. It might interest 
you to look at it, perhaps?' 


'Very much so,' said Winston, immediately seeing 
where this tended. 


'Some of the new developments are most 
ingenious. The reduction in the number of verbs — 
that is the point that will appeal to you, I think. Let 
me see, shall I send a messenger to you with the 
dictionary? But I am afraid I invariably forget 
anything of that kind. Perhaps you could pick it up 
at my flat at some time that suited you? Wait. Let 
me give you my address.' 


idiomaticas. He olvidado su nombre ahora 
mismo; que lo tenia en la punta de la lengua. 

Winston sintio un escalofrfo. O'Brien no podia 
referirse mas que a Syme. Pero Syme no solo 
estaba muerto, sino que habla sido abolido. Era 
una nopersona. Cualquier referencia 
identificable a aquel vaporizado habrfa resultado 
mortalmente peligrosa. De manera que la alusion 
que acababa de hacer O'Brien debla de significar 
una serial secreta. A1 compartir con el este 
pequeno acto de crimental, se hablan convertido 
los dos en complices. Continuaron recorriendo 
lentamente el corredor hasta que O'Brien se 
detuvo. Con la tranquilizadora amabilidad que el 
infundla siempre a sus gestos, aseguro bien sus 
gafas sobre la nariz y prosiguio: 

— Lo que quise decir fue que note en tu artlculo 
que hablas empleado dos palabras ya anticuadas. 
En realidad, hace muy poco tiempo que se han 
quedado anticuadas. ^Has visto la decima 
edicion del Diccionario de Neolengua? 

— No — dijo Winston — . No crela que estuviese 
ya publicado. Nosotros seguimos usando la 
novena edicion en el Departamento de Registro. 

— Bueno, la decima edicion tardara varios meses 
en aparecer, pero ya han circulado algunos 
ejemplares en pruebas. Yo tengo uno. Quizas te 
interese verlo, <mo? 

— Muchlsimo — dijo Winston, comprendiendo 
inmediatamente la intencion del otro. 


— Algunas de las modificaciones introducidas 
son muy ingeniosas. Creo que te sorprendera la 
reduccion del niimcro de verbos. Vamos a ver. 
(■Sera mejor que te mande un mensajero con el 
diccionario? Pero temo no acordarme; siempre 
me pasa igual. Quizas puedas recogerlo en mi 
piso a una hora que te convenga. Espera. Voy a 
darte mi direccion. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


188 


They were standing in front of a telescreen. 
Somewhat absent-mindedly O'Brien felt two of his 
pockets and then produced a small leather-covered 
notebook and a gold ink-pencil. Immediately 
beneath the telescreen, in such a position that 
anyone who was watching at the other end of the 
instrument could read what he was writing, he 
scribbled an address, tore out the page and handed 
it to Winston. 


'I am usually at home in the evenings,' he said. 'If 
not, my servant will give you the dictionary.' 

He was gone, leaving Winston holding the scrap of 
paper, which this time there was no need to 
conceal. Nevertheless he carefully memorized what 
was written on it, and some hours later dropped it 
into the memory hole along with a mass of other 
papers. 

They had been talking to one another for a couple 
of minutes at the most. There was only one 
meaning that the episode could possibly have. It 
had been contrived as a way of letting Winston 
know O'Brien's address. This was necessary, 
because except by direct enquiry it was never 
possible to discover where anyone lived. There 
were no directories of any kind. 'If you ever want 
to see me, this is where I can be found,' was what 
O'Brien had been saying to him. Perhaps there 
would even be a message concealed somewhere in 
the dictionary. But at any rate, one thing was 
certain. The conspiracy that he had dreamed of did 
exist, and he had reached the outer edges of it. 


He knew that sooner or later he would obey 
O'Brien's summons. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps 
after a long delay — he was not certain. What was 
happening was only the working-out of a process 
that had started years ago. The first step had been a 
secret, involuntary thought, the second had been 
the opening of the diary. He had moved from 
thoughts to words, and now from words to actions. 
The last step was something that would happen in 
the Ministry of Love. He had accepted it. The end 


Se hallaban frente a una telepantalla. Como 
distraldo, O'Brien se busco maquinalmente en los 
bolsillos y por fin saco una pequena agenda 
forrada en cuero y un lapiz tinta morado. 
Colocandose respecto a la telepantalla de manera 
que el observador pudiera leer bien lo que 
escribla, apunto la direccion. Arranco la hoja y se 
la dio a Winston. 


— Suelo estar en casa por las tardes — dijo — . Si 
no, mi criado te dara el diccionario. 


Ya se habla marchado dejando a Winston con el 
papel en la mano. Esta vez no habla necesidad de 
ocultar nada. Sin embargo, grabo en la memoria 
las palabras escritas, y horas despues tiro el papel 
en el «agujero de la memoria» junto con otros. 


No hablan hablado mas de dos minutos. Aquel 
breve episodio solo podia tener un significado. 
Era una manera de que Winston pudiera saber la 
direccion de O'Brien. Aquel recurso era 
necesario porque a no ser directamente, nadie 
podia saber donde vivla otra persona. No habla 
gulas de direcciones. «Si quieres verme, ya sabes 
donde estoy», era en resumen lo que O'Brien le 
habla estado diciendo. Quizas se encontrara en el 
diccionario algiin mensaje. De todos modos lo 
cierto era que la conspiracion con que el sonaba 
existla efectivamente y que habla entrado ya en 
contacto con ella. 


Winston sabla que mas pronto o mas tarde 
obedecerla la indicacion de O'Brien. Quizas al 
dla siguiente, quizas al cabo de mucho tiempo, 
no estaba seguro. Lo que sucedla era solo la 
puesta en marcha de un proceso que habla 
empezado a incubarse varios anos antes. El 
primer paso consistio en un pensamiento 
involuntario y secreto; el segundo fue el acto de 
abrir el Diario. Aquello habla pasado de los 
pensamientos a las palabras, y ahora, de las 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


189 


was contained in the beginning. But it was 
frightening: or, more exactly, it was like a foretaste 
of death, like being a little less alive. Even while he 
was speaking to O'Brien, when the meaning of the 
words had sunk in, a chilly shuddering feeling had 
taken possession of his body. He had the sensation 
of stepping into the dampness of a grave, and it was 
not much better because he had always known that 
the grave was there and waiting for him. 


palabras a la accion. El ultimo paso tendrfa lugar 
en el Ministerio del Amor. Pero Winston ya lo 
habia aceptado. El final de aquel asunto estaba 
implfcito en su comienzo. De todos modos, 
asustaba un poco; o, con mas exactitud, era un 
pregusto de la muerte, como estar ya menos vivo. 
Incluso mientras hablaba O'Brien y penetraba en 
el el sentido de sus palabras, le habia recorrido 
un escalofrfo. Fue como si avanzara hacia la 
humedad de una tumba y la impresion no 
disminufa por el hecho de que el hubiera sabido 
siempre que la tumba estaba all! esperandole. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


190 


Chapter 7 


Winston had woken up with his eyes full of tears. 
Julia rolled sleepily against him, murmuring 
something that might have been 'What's the 
matter?' 


'I dreamt — ' he began, and stopped short. It was 
too complex to be put into words. There was the 
dream itself, and there was a memory connected 
with it that had swum into his mind in the few 
seconds after waking. 

He lay back with his eyes shut, still sodden in the 
atmosphere of the dream. It was a vast, luminous 
dream in which his whole life seemed to stretch 
out before him like a landscape on a summer 
evening after rain. It had all occurred inside the 
glass paperweight, but the surface of the glass 
was the dome of the sky, and inside the dome 
everything was flooded with clear soft light in 
which one could see into interminable distances. 
The dream had also been comprehended by — 
indeed, in some sense it had consisted in — a 
gesture of the arm made by his mother, and made 
again thirty years later by the Jewish woman he 
had seen on the news film, trying to shelter the 
small boy from the bullets, before the helicopter 
blew them both to pieces. 

'Do you know,' he said, 'that until this moment I 
believed I had murdered my mother?' 


'Why did you murder her?' said Julia, almost 
asleep. 


'I didn't murder her. Not physically.' 

In the dream he had remembered his last glimpse 
of his mother, and within a few moments of 
waking the cluster of small events surrounding it 
had all come back. It was a memory that he must 
have deliberately pushed out of his consciousness 


CAPITULO VII 


Winston se desperto muy emocionado. Le dijo a 
Julia: 


«He sonado que...», y se detuvo porque no podia 
explicarlo. Era excesivamente complicado. No solo 
se trataba del sueno, sino de unos recuerdos 
relacionados con el que habian surgido en su mente 
segundos despues de despertarse. 

Siguio tendido, con los ojos cerrados y envuelto aun 
en la atmosfera del sueno. Era un amplio y luminoso 
ensueno en el que su vida entera parecia extenderse 
ante el como un paisaje en una tarde de verano 
despues de la lluvia. Todo habia ocurrido dentro del 
pisapapeles de cristal, pero la superficie de este era la 
cupula del cielo y dentro de la cupula todo estaba 
inundado por una luz clara y suave gracias a la cual 
podian verse interminables distancias. El ensueno 
habia partido de un gesto hecho por su madre con el 
brazo y vuelto a hacer, treinta anos mas tarde, por la 
mujer judia del noticiario cinematografico cuando 
trataba de proteger a su nino de las balas antes de que 
los autogiros los destrozaran a ambos. 


— ^Sabes? — dijo Winston — , hasta ahora mismo he 
creido que habia asesinado a mi madre. 


— ^Por que la asesinaste? — le pregunto Julia medio 
dormida. 


— No, no la asesine. Fisicamente, no. 


En el ensueno habia recordado su ultima vision de la 
madre y, pocos instantes despues de despertar, le 
habia vuelto el racimo de pequenos acontecimientos 
que rodearon aquel hecho. Sin duda, habia estado 
reprimiendo deliberadamente aquel recuerdo durante 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


191 


over many years. He was not certain of the date, 
but he could not have been less than ten years 
old, possibly twelve, when it had happened. 

His father had disappeared some time earlier, 
how much earlier he could not remember. He 
remembered better the rackety, uneasy 
circumstances of the time: the periodical panics 
about air-raids and the sheltering in Tube 
stations, the piles of rubble everywhere, the 
unintelligible proclamations posted at street 
corners, the gangs of youths in shirts all the same 
colour, the enormous queues outside the 
bakeries, the intermittent machine-gun fire in the 
distance — above all, the fact that there was never 
enough to eat. He remembered long afternoons 
spent with other boys in scrounging round 
dustbins and rubbish heaps, picking out the ribs 
of cabbage leaves, potato peelings, sometimes 
even scraps of stale breadcrust from which they 
carefully scraped away the cinders; and also in 
waiting for the passing of trucks which travelled 
over a certain route and were known to carry 
cattle feed, and which, when they jolted over the 
bad patches in the road, sometimes spilt a few 
fragments of oil-cake. 

When his father disappeared, his mother did not 
show any surprise or any violent grief, but a 
sudden change came over her. She seemed to 
have become completely spiritless. It was evident 
even to Winston that she was waiting for 
something that she knew must happen. She did 
everything that was needed — cooked, washed, 
mended, made the bed, swept the floor, dusted 
the mantelpiece — always very slowly and with a 
curious lack of superfluous motion, like an 
artist's lay-figure moving of its own accord. Her 
large shapely body seemed to relapse naturally 
into stillness. For hours at a time she would sit 
almost immobile on the bed, nursing his young 
sister, a tiny, ailing, very silent child of two or 
three, with a face made simian by thinness. Very 
occasionally she would take Winston in her arms 
and press him against her for a long time without 
saying anything. He was aware, in spite of his 
youthfulness and selfishness, that this was 
somehow connected with the never-mentioned 
thing that was about to happen. 


muchos anos. No estaba seguro de la fecha, pero 
debio de ser hacla menos de diez anos o, a lo mas, 
doce. 


Su padre habla desaparecido poco antes. No podia 
recordar cuanto tiempo antes, pero sf las revueltas 
circunstancias de aquella epoca, el panico periodico 
causado por las incursiones aereas y las carreras para 
refugiarse en las estaciones del Metro, los montones 
de escombros, las consignas que apareclan por las 
esquinas en llamativos carteles, las pandillas de 
jovenes con camisas del mismo color, las enormes 
colas en las panaderfas, el intermitente crepitar de las 
ametralladoras a lo lejos... y, sobre todo, el hecho de 
que nunca habla bastante comida. Recordaba las 
largas tardes pasadas con otros chicos rebuscando en 
las latas de la basura y en los montones de 
desperdicios, encontrando a veces hojas de verdura, 
mondaduras de patata e incluso, con mucha suerte, 
mendrugos de pan, duros como piedra, que los ninos 
sacaban cuidadosamente de entre la ceniza; y 
tambien, la paciente espera de los camiones que 
llevaban pienso para el ganado y que a veces dejaban 
caer, al saltar en un bache, bellotas o avena. 


Cuando su padre desaparecio, su madre no se mostra 
sorprendida ni demasiado apenada, pero se opera en 
ella un, subito cambio. Parecla haber perdido por 
completo los animos. Era evidente — incluso para un 
nino como Winston — que la mujer esperaba algo 
que ella sabla con toda seguridad que ocurrirla. 
Hacla todo lo necesario — guisaba, lavaba la ropa y 
la remendaba, arreglaba las camas, barrfa el suelo, 
limpiaba el polvo — , todo ello muy despacio y 
evitandose todos los movimientos inutiles. Su 
majestuoso cuerpo tenia una tendencia natural a la 
inmovilidad. Se quedaba las horas muertas casi 
inmovil en la cama, con su ninita en los brazos, una 
criatura muy silenciosa de dos o tres anos con un 
rostra tan delgado que parecla simiesco. De vez en 
cuando, la madre cogla en brazos a Winston y le 
estrechaba contra ella, sin decir nada. A pesar de su 
escasa edad y de su natural egolsmo, Winston sabla 
que todo esto se relacionaba con lo que habla de 
ocurrir: aquel acontecimiento impllcito en todo y del 
que nadie hablaba. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


192 


He remembered the room where they lived, a 
dark, close-smelling room that seemed half filled 
by a bed with a white counterpane. There was a 
gas ring in the fender, and a shelf where food was 
kept, and on the landing outside there was a 
brown earthenware sink, common to several 
rooms. He remembered his mother's statuesque 
body bending over the gas ring to stir at 
something in a saucepan. Above all he 
remembered his continuous hunger, and the 
fierce sordid battles at mealtimes. He would ask 
his mother naggingly, over and over again, why 
there was not more food, he would shout and 
storm at her (he even remembered the tones of 
his voice, which was beginning to break 
prematurely and sometimes boomed in a peculiar 
way), or he would attempt a snivelling note of 
pathos in his efforts to get more than his share. 
His mother was quite ready to give him more 
than his share. She took it for granted that he, 'the 
boy', should have the biggest portion; but 
however much she gave him he invariably 
demanded more. At every meal she would 
beseech him not to be selfish and to remember 
that his little sister was sick and also needed 
food, but it was no use. He would cry out with 
rage when she stopped ladling, he would try to 
wrench the saucepan and spoon out of her hands, 
he would grab bits from his sister's plate. He 
knew that he was starving the other two, but he 
could not help it; he even felt that he had a right 
to do it. The clamorous hunger in his belly 
seemed to justify him. Between meals, if his 
mother did not stand guard, he was constantly 
pilfering at the wretched store of food on the 
shelf. 


One day a chocolate ration was issued. There had 
been no such issue for weeks or months past. He 
remembered quite clearly that precious little 
morsel of chocolate. It was a two-ounce slab 
(they still talked about ounces in those days) 
between the three of them. It was obvious that it 
ought to be divided into three equal parts. 
Suddenly, as though he were listening to 
somebody else, Winston heard himself 
demanding in a loud booming voice that he 
should be given the whole piece. His mother told 


Recordaba la habitacion donde vivian, una estancia 
oscura y siempre cerrada casi totalmente ocupada por 
la cama. Habia un hornillo de gas y un estante donde 
ponia los alimentos. 

Recordaba el cuerpo estatuario de su madre inclinado 
sobre el hornillo de gas moviendo algo en la sarten. 
Sobre todo recordaba su continua hambre y las 
sordidas y feroces batallas a las horas de comer. 
Winston le preguntaba a su madre, con reproche una 
y otra vez, por que no habia mas comida. Gritaba y la 
fastidiaba, descompuesto en su afan de lograr una 
parte mayor. 


Daba por descontado que el, el varon, debia tener la 
racion mayor. Pero por mucho que la pobre mujer le 
diera, el pedia invariablemente mas. 

En cada comida la madre le suplicaba que no fuera 
tan egoista y recordase que su hermanita estaba 
enferma y necesitaba alimentarse; pero era inutil. 
Winston cogia pedazos de comida del plato de su 
hermanita y trataba de apoderarse de la fuente. 

Sabia que con su conducta condenaba al hambre a su 
madre y a su hermana, pero no podia evitarlo. 
Incluso creia tener derecho a ello. El hambre que le 
torturaba parecia justificarlo. Entre comidas, si su 
madre no tenia mucho cuidado, se apoderaba de la 
escasa cantidad de alimento guardado en la alacena. 


Un dia dieron una racion de chocolate. Hacia mucho 
tiempo — meses enteros — que no daban chocolate. 
Winston recordaba con toda claridad aquel cuadrito 
oscuro y preciadisimo. Era una tableta de dos onzas 
(por entonces se hablaba todavia de onzas) que les 
correspondia para los tres. Parecia logico que la 
tableta fuera dividida en tres partes iguales. De 
pronto — en el ensueno — , como si estuviera 
escuchando a otra persona, Winston se oyo gritar 
exigiendo que le dieran todo el chocolate. Su madre 
le dijo que no fuese ansioso. Discutieron mucho; 


George Orwell 


19 8 4 


193 


him not to be greedy. There was a long, nagging 
argument that went round and round, with shouts, 
whines, tears, remonstrances, bargainings. His 
tiny sister, clinging to her mother with both 
hands, exactly like a baby monkey, sat looking 
over her shoulder at him with large, mournful 
eyes. In the end his mother broke off three- 
quarters of the chocolate and gave it to Winston, 
giving the other quarter to his sister. The little 
girl took hold of it and looked at it dully, perhaps 
not knowing what it was. Winston stood 
watching her for a moment. Then with a sudden 
swift spring he had snatched the piece of 
chocolate out of his sister's hand and was fleeing 
for the door. 


'Winston, Winston!' his mother called after him. 
'Come back! Give yoursister back her chocolate!' 


He stopped, but did not come back. His mother's 
anxious eyes were fixed on his face. Even now 
he was thinking about the thing, he did not know 
what it was that was on the point of happening. 
His sister, conscious of having been robbed of 
something, had set up a feeble wail. His mother 
drew her arm round the child and pressed its face 
against her breast. Something in the gesture told 
him that his sister was dying. He turned and fled 
down the stairs, with the chocolate growing 
sticky in his hand. 

He never saw his mother again. After he had 
devoured the chocolate he felt somewhat 
ashamed of himself and hung about in the streets 
for several hours, until hunger drove him home. 
When he came back his mother had disappeared. 
This was already becoming normal at that time. 
Nothing was gone from the room except his 
mother and his sister. They had not taken any 
clothes, not even his mother's overcoat. To this 
day he did not know with any certainty that his 
mother was dead. It was perfectly possible that 
she had merely been sent to a forced-labour 
camp. As for his sister, she might have been 
removed, like Winston himself, to one of the 
colonies for homeless children (Reclamation 
Centres, they were called) which had grown up 
as a result of the civil war, or she might have 


hubo llantos, lloros, reprimendas, regateos... su 
hermanita agarrandose a la madre con las dos manos 
— exactamente como una monita — miraba a 
Winston con ojos muy abiertos y llenos de tristeza. 
A1 final, la madre le dio al nino las tres cuartas partes 
de la tableta y a la hermanita la otra cuarta parte. La 
pequena la cogio y se puso a mirarla con 
indiferencia, sin saber quizas lo que era. Winston se 
la quedo mirando un momento. Luego, con un subito 
movimiento, le arranco a la nena el trocito de 
chocolate y salio huyendo. 


— [Winston! [Winston! — le grito su madre. Ven 
aquf, devuelvele a tu hermana el chocolate. 

El nino se detuvo pero no regreso a su sitio. Su 
madre lo miraba preocupadlsima. Incluso en ese 
momento, pensaba en aquello, en lo que habla de 
suceder de un momento a otro y que Winston 
ignoraba. La hermanita, consciente de que le hablan 
robado algo, rompio a llorar. Su madre la abrazo con 
fuerza. Algo habla en aquel gesto que le hizo 
comprender a Winston que su hermana se morla. 
Salio corriendo escaleras abajo con el chocolate 
derritiendosele entre los dedos. 


Nunca volvio a ver a su madre. Despues de comerse 
el chocolate, se sintio algo avergonzado y corrio por 
las calles mucho tiempo hasta que el hambre le hizo 
volver. Pero su madre ya no estaba all 1. En aquella 
epoca, estas desapariciones eran normales. Todo 
segula igual en la habitacion. Solo faltaban la madre 
y la hermanita. Ni siquiera se habla llevado el abrigo. 
Ni siquiera ahora estaba seguro Winston de que su 
madre hubiera muerto. Era muy posible que la 
hubieran mandado a un campo de trabajos forzados. 
En cuanto a su hermana, quizas se la hubieran 
llevado — como hicieron con el mismo Winston — a 
una de las colonias de ninos huerfanos (les llamaban 
Centros de Reclamacion) que fueron una de las 
consecuencias de la guerra civil; o quizas la hubieran 
enviado con la madre al campo de trabajos forzados 
o sencillamente la habrlan dejado morir en cualquier 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


194 


been sent to the labour camp along with his 
mother, or simply left somewhere or other to die. 


The dream was still vivid in his mind, especially 
the enveloping protecting gesture of the arm in 
which its whole meaning seemed to be contained. 
His mind went back to another dream of two 
months ago. Exactly as his mother had sat on the 
dingy white-quilted bed, with the child clinging 
to her, so she had sat in the sunken ship, far 
underneath him, and drowning deeper every 
minute, but still looking up at him through the 
darkening water. 

He told Julia the story of his mother's 
disappearance. Without opening her eyes she 
rolled over and settled herself into a more 
comfortable position. 

'I expect you were a beastly little swine in those 
days,' she said indistinctly. 'All children are 
swine.' 


'Yes. But the real point of the story — ' 


From her breathing it was evident that she was 
going off to sleep again. He would have liked to 
continue talking about his mother. He did not 
suppose, from what he could remember of her, 
that she had been an unusual woman, still less an 
intelligent one; and yet she had possessed a kind 
of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the 
standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her 
feelings were her own, and could not be altered 
from outside. It would not have occurred to her 
that an action which is ineffectual thereby 
becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you 
loved him, and when you had nothing else to 
give, you still gave him love. When the last of 
the chocolate was gone, his mother had clasped 
the child in her arms. It was no use, it changed 
nothing, it did not produce more chocolate, it did 
not avert the child's death or her own; but it 
seemed natural to her to do it. The refugee 
woman in the boat had also covered the little boy 
with her arm, which was no more use against the 


rincon. 


El ensueno seguia vivo en su mente, sobre todo el 
gesto protector de la madre, que parecia contener un 
profundo significado. Entonces recordo otro ensueno 
que habia tenido dos meses antes, cuando se le habia 
aparecido hundiendose sin cesar en aquel barco, pero 
sin dejar de mirarlo a el a traves del agua que se 
oscurecia por momentos. 


Le conto a Julia la historia de la desaparicion de su 
madre. Sin abrir los ojos, la joven dio una vuelta en 
la cama y se coloco en una posicion mas comoda. 


— Ya me figuro que serfas un cerdito en aquel 
tiempo — dijo indiferente — . Todos los ninos son 
unos cerdos. 


— Si, pero el sentido de esa historia... 

Winston comprendio, por la respiracion de Julia, que 
estaba a punto de volverse a dormir. Le habrfa 
gustado seguirle contando cosas de su madre. No 
suponia, basandose en lo que podia recordar de ella, 
que hubiera sido una mujer extraordinaria, ni 
siquiera inteligente. Sin embargo, estaba seguro de 
que su madre poseia una especie de nobleza, de 
pureza, solo por el hecho de regirse por normas 
privadas. Los sentimientos de ella eran realmente 
suyos y no los que el Estado le mandaba tener. No se 
le habrfa ocurrido pensar que una accion ineficaz, sin 
consecuencias practicas, careciera por ello de 
sentido. Cuando se amaba a alguien, se le amaba por 
el mismo, y si no habia nada mas que darle, siempre 
se le podia dar amor. Cuando el se habia apoderado 
de todo el chocolate, su madre abrazo a la nina con 
inmensa temura. Aquel acto no cambiaba nada, no 
servia para producir mas chocolate, no podia evitar la 
muerte de la nina ni la de ella, pero a la madre le 
parecia natural realizarlo. La mujer refugiada en 
aquel barco (en el noticiario) tambien habia 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


195 


bullets than a sheet of paper. The terrible thing 
that the Party had done was to persuade you that 
mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no 
account, while at the same time robbing you of 
all power over the material world. When once 
you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or 
did not feel, what you did or refrained from 
doing, made literally no difference. 

Whatever happened you vanished, and neither 
you nor your actions were ever heard of again. 
You were lifted clean out of the stream of 
history. And yet to the people of only two 
generations ago this would not have seemed all- 
important, because they were not attempting to 
alter history. They were governed by private 
loyalties which they did not question. What 
mattered were individual relationships, and a 
completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a 
word spoken to a dying man, could have value in 
itself. The proles, it suddenly occurred to him, 
had remained in this condition. They were not 
loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were 
loyal to one another. For the first time in his life 
he did not despise the proles or think of them 
merely as an inert force which would one day 
spring to life and regenerate the world. The 
proles had stayed human. They had not become 
hardened inside. They had held on to the 
primitive emotions which he himself had to re- 
learn by conscious effort. And in thinking this he 
remembered, without apparent relevance, how a 
few weeks ago he had seen a severed hand lying 
on the pavement and had kicked it into the gutter 
as though it had been a cabbage-stalk. 

'The proles are human beings,' he said aloud. 'We 
are not human.' 


'Why not?' said Julia, who had woken up again. 


He thought for a little while. 'Has it ever occurred 
to you,' he said, 'that the best thing for us to do 
would be simply to walk out of here before it's 
too late, and never see each other again?' 


protegido al nino con sus brazos, con lo cual podia 
salvarlo de las balas con la misma eficacia que si lo 
hubiera cubierto con un papel. Lo terrible era que el 
Partido habla persuadido a la gente de que los 
simples impulsos y sentimientos de nada Servian. 
Cuando se estaba bajo las garras del Partido, nada 
importaba lo que se sintiera o se dejara de sentir, lo 
que se hiciera o se dejara de hacer. 

Cuanto le sucedla a uno se desvanecla y ni usted ni 
sus acciones volvlan a figurar para nada. Le 
apartaban a usted, con toda limpieza, del curso de la 
historia. Sin embargo, hacla solo dos generaciones, 
se dejaban gobernar por sentimientos privados que 
nadie ponla en duda. Lo que importaba eran las 
relaciones humanas, y un gesto completamente 
inutil, un abrazo, una lagrima, una palabra carinosa 
dirigida a un moribundo, poselan un valor en sf. De 
pronto penso Winston que los proles segulan con sus 
sentimientos y emociones. No eran leales a un 
Partido, a un pals ni a un ideal, sino que se 
guardaban mutua lealtad unos a otros. Por primera 
vez en su vida, Winston no desprecio a los proles ni 
los creyo solo una fuerza inerte. Algun dla muy 
remoto recobrarfan sus fuerzas y se lanzanan a la 
regeneracion del mundo. Los proles continuaban 
siendo humanos. No se hablan endurecido por 
dentro. Se hablan atenido a las emociones primitivas 
que el, Winston, tenia que aprender de nuevo por un 
esfuerzo consciente. Y al pensar esto, recordo que 
unas semanas antes habla visto sobre el pavimento 
una mano arrancada en un bombardeo y que la habla 
apartado con el pie tirandola a la alcantarilla como si 
fuera un inservible troncho de lechuga. 


— Los proles son seres humanos — dijo en voz alta 
— . Nosotros, en cambio, no somos humanos. 


— ^Por que? — dijo Julia, que habla vuelto a 
despertarse. 


Winston reflexiono un momento. 

— ^No se te ha ocurrido pensar — dijo — que lo 
mejor que harlamos serfa marcharnos de aqul antes 
de que sea demasiado tarde y no volver a vernos 
jamas? 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


196 


'Yes, dear, it has occurred to me, several times. 
But I'm not going to do it, all the same.' 


'We've been lucky,' he said 'but it can't last much 
longer. You're young. You look normal and 
innocent. If you keep clear of people like me, you 
might stay alive for another fifty years.' 


'No. I've thought it all out. What you do, I'm 
going to do. And don't be too downhearted. I'm 
rather good at staying alive.' 


'We may be together for another six months — a 
year — there's no knowing. At the end we're 
certain to be apart. Do you realize how utterly 
alone we shall be? When once they get hold of us 
there will be nothing, literally nothing, that either 
of us can do for the other. If I confess, they'll 
shoot you, and if I refuse to confess, they'll shoot 
you just the same. Nothing that I can do or say, 
or stop myself from saying, will put off your 
death for as much as five minutes. Neither of us 
will even know whether the other is alive or 
dead. We shall be utterly without power of any 
kind. The one thing that matters is that we 
shouldn't betray one another, although even that 
can't make the slightest difference.' 

'If you mean confessing,' she said, 'we shall do 
that, right enough. Everybody always confesses. 
You can't help it. They torture you.' 

'I don't mean confessing. Confession is not 
betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter: only 
feelings matter. If they could make me stop 
loving you — that would be the real betrayal.' 


She thought it over. 'They can't do that,' she said 
finally. 'It's the one thing they can't do. They can 
make you say anything — ANYTHING — but they 
can't make you believe it. They can't get inside 
you.' 


— SI, querido, se me ha ocurrido varias veces, pero 
no estoy dispuesta a hacerlo. 


— Hemos tenido suerte — dijo Winston — ; pero esto 
no puede durar mucho tiempo. Somos jovenes. Tu 
pareces normal e inocente. Si te alejas de la gente 
como yo, puedes vivir todavla cincuenta anos mas. 

— [No!. Ya he pensado en todo eso. Lo que tu 
hagas, eso hare yo. Y no te desanimes tanto. Yo se 
arreglarmelas para seguir viviendo. 

— Quizas podamos seguir juntos otros seis meses, 
un ano... no se sabe. Pero al final es seguro que 
tendremos que separamos. ^Te das cuenta de lo solos 
que nos encontraremos? Cuando nos hayan cogido, 
no habra nada, lo que se dice nada, que podamos 
hacer el uno por el otro. Si confieso, te fusilaran, y si 
me niego a confesar, te fusilaran tambien. Nada de lo 
que yo pueda hacer o decir, o dejar de decir y hacer, 
servirfa para aplazar tu muerte ni cinco minutos. 
Ninguno de nosotros dos sabra siquiera si el otro 
vive o ha muerto. Serfa inutil intentar nada. Lo unico 
importante es que no nos traicionemos, aunque por 
ello no iban a variar las cosas. 


— Si quieren que confesemos — replied Julia — lo 
haremos. Todos confiesan siempre. Es imposible 
evitarlo. Te torturan. 


— No me refiero a la confesion. Confesar no es 
traicionar. No importa lo que digas o hagas, sino los 
sentimientos. Si pueden obligarme a dejarte de 
amar... esa serfa la verdadera traicion. 

Julia reflexiono sobre ello. 


— A eso no pueden obligarte — dijo al cabo de un 
rato — . Es lo unico que no pueden hacer. Pueden 
forzarte a decir cualquier cosa, pero no hay manera 
de que te lo hagan creer. Dentro de ti no pueden 
entrar nunca. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


197 


'No,' he said a little more hopefully, 'no; that's 
quite true. They can't get inside you. If you can 
FEEL that staying human is worth while, even 
when it can't have any result whatever, you've 
beaten them.' 


He thought of the telescreen with its never- 
sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and 
day, but if you kept your head you could still 
outwit them. With all their cleverness they had 
never mastered the secret of finding out what 
another human being was thinking. Perhaps that 
was less true when you were actually in their 
hands. One did not know what happened inside 
the Ministry of Love, but it was possible to 
guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that 
registered your nervous reactions, gradual 
wearing-down by sleeplessness and solitude and 
persistent questioning. Facts, at any rate, could 
not be kept hidden. They could be tracked down 
by enquiry, they could be squeezed out of you by 
torture. But if the object was not to stay alive but 
to stay human, what difference did it ultimately 
make? They could not alter your feelings: for that 
matter you could not alter them yourself, even if 
you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost 
detail everything that you had done or said or 
thought; but the inner heart, whose workings 
were mysterious even to yourself, remained 
impregnable. 


— Eso es verdad — dijo Winston con un poco mas 
de esperanza — . No pueden penetrar en nuestra 
alma. Si podemos sentir que merece la pena seguir 
siendo humanos, aunque esto no tenga ningun 
resultado positivo, los habremos derrotado. 

Y penso en la telepantalla, que nunca dormfa, que 
nunca se distrafa ni dejaba de ofr. Podfan espiarle a 
uno dfa y noche, pero no perdiendo la cabeza era 
posible burlarlos. Con toda su habilidad, nunca 
habfan logrado encontrar el procedimiento de saber 
lo que pensaba otro ser humano. Quizas esto fuera 
menos cierto cuando le tenfan a uno en sus manos. 
No se sabfa lo que pasaba dentro del Ministerio del 
Amor, pero era facil figurarselo: torturas, drogas, 
delicados instrumentos que registraban las reacciones 
nerviosas, agotamiento progresivo por la falta de 
sueno, por la soledad y los interrogatorios 
implacables y persistentes. Los hechos no podfan ser 
ocultados, se los exprimfan a uno con la tortura o les 
segufan la pista con los interrogatorios. Pero si la 
finalidad que uno se proponfa no era salvar la vida 
sino haber sido humanos hasta el final, ^que 
importaba todo aquello? Los sentimientos no podfan 
cambiarlos; es mas, ni uno mismo podrfa 
suprimirlos. Sin duda, podrfan saber hasta el mas 
pequeno detalle de todo lo que uno hubiera hecho, 
dicho o pensado; pero el fondo del corazon, cuyo 
contenido era un misterio incluso para su dueno, se 
mantendrfa siempre inexpugnable. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


198 


Chapter 8 


They had done it, they had done it at last! 


The room they were standing in was long-shaped 
and softly lit. The telescreen was dimmed to a low 
murmur; the richness of the dark-blue carpet gave 
one the impression of treading on velvet. At the far 
end of the room O'Brien was sitting at a table 
under a green-shaded lamp, with a mass of papers 
on either side of him. He had not bothered to look 
up when the servant showed Julia and Winston in. 


Winston's heart was thumping so hard that he 
doubted whether he would be able to speak. They 
had done it, they had done it at last, was all he 
could think. It had been a rash act to come here at 
all, and sheer folly to arrive together; though it was 
true that they had come by different routes and 
only met on O'Brien's doorstep. But merely to 
walk into such a place needed an effort of the 
nerve. It was only on very rare occasions that one 
saw inside the dwelling-places of the Inner Party, 
or even penetrated into the quarter of the town 
where they lived. The whole atmosphere of the 
huge block of flats, the richness and spaciousness 
of everything, the unfamiliar smells of good food 
and good tobacco, the silent and incredibly rapid 
lifts sliding up and down, the white-jacketed 
servants hurrying to and fro — everything was 
intimidating. Although he had a good pretext for 
coming here, he was haunted at every step by the 
fear that a black-uniformed guard would suddenly 
appear from round the comer, demand his papers, 
and order him to get out. O'Brien's servant, 
however, had admitted the two of them without 
demur. He was a small, dark-haired man in a white 
jacket, with a diamond- shaped, completely 
expressionless face which might have been that of 
a Chinese. The passage down which he led them 
was softly carpeted, with cream-papered walls and 
white wainscoting, all exquisitely clean. That too 
was intimidating. Winston could not remember 
ever to have seen a passageway whose walls were 
not grimy from the contact of human bodies. 


CAPITULO VIII 


Lo hablan hecho, por fin lo hablan hecho. 

La habitacion donde estaban era alargada y de 
suave iluminacion. La telepantalla habla sido 
amortiguada hasta producir solo un leve murmullo. 
La riqueza de la alfombra azul oscuro daba la 
impresion de andar sobre el terciopelo. En un 
extremo de la habitacion estaba sentado O'Brien 
ante una mesa, bajo una lampara de pantalla verde, 
con un monton de papeles a cada lado. No se 
molesto en levantar la cabeza cuando el criado hizo 
pasar a Julia y Winston. 

El corazon de Winston latla tan fuerte que dudaba 
de poder hablar. Lo hablan hecho; por fin lo hablan 
hecho... Esto era lo unico que Winston podia 
pensar. Habla sido un acto de inmensa audacia 
entrar en este despacho, y una locura inconcebible 
venir juntos; aunque realmente hablan llegado por 
caminos diferentes y solo se reunieron a la puerta 
de O'Brien. Pero solo el hecho de traspasar aquel 
umbral requerla un gran esfuerzo nervioso. En muy 
raras ocasiones se podia penetrar en las residencias 
del Partido Interior, ni siquiera en el barrio donde 
tenlan sus domicilios. La atmosfera del inmenso 
bloque de casas, la riqueza de amplitud de todo lo 
que all! habla, los olores — tan poco familiares — 
a buena comida y a excelente tabaco, los ascensores 
silenciosos e increlblemente rapidos, los criados 
con chaqueta blanca apresurandose de un lado a 
otro... todo ello era intimidante. Aunque tenia un 
buen pretexto para ir alll, temblaba a cada paso por 
miedo a que surgiera de algun rincon un guardia 
uniformado de negro, le pidiera sus documentos y 
le mandara salir. Sin embargo, el criado de O'Brien 
los habla hecho entrar a los dos sin demora. Era un 
hombre sencillo, de pelo negro y chaqueta blanca 
con un rostro inexpresivo y achinado. El corredor 
por el que los habla conducido, estaba muy bien 
alfombrado y las paredes cubiertas con papel crema 
de absoluta limpieza. Winston no recordaba haber 
visto ningun pasillo cuyas paredes no estuvieran 
manchadas por el contacto de cuerpos humanos. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


199 


O'Brien had a slip of paper between his fingers and 
seemed to be studying it intently. His heavy face, 
bent down so that one could see the line of the 
nose, looked both formidable and intelligent. For 
perhaps twenty seconds he sat without stirring. 
Then he pulled the speakwrite towards him and 
rapped out a message in the hybrid jargon of the 
Ministries: 


'Items one comma five comma seven approved 
fullwise stop suggestion contained item six 
doubleplus ridiculous verging crimethink cancel 
stop unproceed constructionwise antegetting 
plusfull estimates machinery overheads stop end 
message.' 

He rose deliberately from his chair and came 
towards them across the soundless carpet. A little 
of the official atmosphere seemed to have fallen 
away from him with the Newspeak words, but his 
expression was grimmer than usual, as though he 
were not pleased at being disturbed. The terror that 
Winston already felt was suddenly shot through by 
a streak of ordinary embarrassment. It seemed to 
him quite possible that he had simply made a 
stupid mistake. For what evidence had he in reality 
that O'Brien was any kind of political conspirator? 
Nothing but a flash of the eyes and a single 
equivocal remark: beyond that, only his own secret 
imaginings, founded on a dream. He could not 
even fall back on the pretence that he had come to 
borrow the dictionary, because in that case Julia's 
presence was impossible to explain. As O'Brien 
passed the telescreen a thought seemed to strike 
him. He stopped, turned aside and pressed a switch 
on the wall. There was a sharp snap. The voice had 
stopped. 

Julia uttered a tiny sound, a sort of squeak of 
surprise. Even in the midst of his panic, Winston 
was too much taken aback to be able to hold his 
tongue. 

'You can turn it off!' he said. 


O'Brien tenia un pedazo de papel entre los dedos y 
parecia estarlo estudiando atentamente. Su pesado 
rostra inclinado tenia un aspecto formidable e 
inteligente a la vez. Se estuvo unos veinte segundos 
inmovil. Luego se acerco el hablescribe y dicto un 
mensaje en la hibrida jerga de los ministerios. 


«Ref 1 coma 5 coma 7 aprobado excelente. 
Sugerencia contenida doc 6 doblemas ridiculo 
rozando crimental destruir. No conviene construir 
antes conseguir completa informacion maquinaria 
puntofinal mensaje. » 


Se levanto de la silla y se acerco a ellos cruzando 
parte de la silenciosa alfombra. Algo del ambiente 
oficial parecia haberse desprendido de el al 
terminar con las palabras de neolengua, pero su 
expresion era mas severa que de costumbre, como 
si no le agradara ser interrumpido. El terror que ya 
sentia Winston se vio aumentado por el 
azoramiento corriente que se experimenta al serle 
molesto a alguien. Creia haber cometido una 
estupida equivocacion. Pues «-,que prueba tenia el de 
que O'Brien fuera un conspirador politico? Solo un 
destello de sus ojos y una observacion equivoca. 
Aparte de eso, todo eran figuraciones suyas 
fundadas en un ensueno. Ni siquiera podia fingir 
que habian venido solamente a recoger el 
diccionario porque en tal caso no podria explicar la 
presencia de Julia. Al pasar O'Brien frente a la 
telepantalla, parecio acordarse de algo. Se detuvo, 
volviose y giro una Have que habia en la pared. Se 
oyo un chasquido. La voz se habia callado de 
golpe. 

Julia lanzo una pequena exclamacion, un apagado 
grito de sorpresa. En medio de su panico, a 
Winston le causo aquello una impresion tan fuerte 
que no pudo evitar estas palabras: 

— ^Puedes cerrarlo? 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


200 


'Yes,' said O'Brien, 'we can turn it off. We have 
that privilege.' 


He was opposite them now. His solid form 
towered over the pair of them, and the expression 
on his face was still indecipherable. He was 
waiting, somewhat sternly, for Winston to speak, 
but about what? Even now it was quite 
conceivable that he was simply a busy man 
wondering irritably why he had been interrupted. 
Nobody spoke. After the stopping of the telescreen 
the room seemed deadly silent. The seconds 
marched past, enormous. With difficulty Winston 
continued to keep his eyes fixed on O'Brien's. 
Then suddenly the grim face broke down into what 
might have been the beginnings of a smile. With 
his characteristic gesture O'Brien resettled his 
spectacles on his nose. 


'Shall I say it, or will you?' he said. 


'I will say it,' said Winston promptly. 'That thing is 
really turned off?' 


'Yes, everything is turned off. We are alone.' 


'We have come here because — ' 


He paused, realizing for the first time the 
vagueness of his own motives. Since he did not in 
fact know what kind of help he expected from 
O'Brien, it was not easy to say why he had come 
here. He went on, conscious that what he was 
saying must sound both feeble and pretentious: 

'We believe that there is some kind of conspiracy, 
some kind of secret organization working against 
the Party, and that you are involved in it. We want 
to join it and work for it. We are enemies of the 
Party. We disbelieve in the principles of Ingsoc. 
We are thought-criminals. We are also adulterers. I 
tell you this because we want to put ourselves at 
your mercy. If you want us to incriminate 


— Si — dijo O'Brien — , podemos cerrarlos. 
Tenemos ese privilegio. 


Estaba sentado frente a ellos. Su maciza figura los 
dominaba y la expresion de su cara continuaba 
indescifrable. Esperaba a que Winston hablase; 
pero ^ sob re que? Incluso ahora podia concebirse 
perfectamente que no fuese mas que un hombre 
ocupado preguntandose con irritacion por que lo 
habian interrumpido. Nadie hablaba. Despues de 
cerrar la telepantalla, la habitacion parecia 
mortalmente silenciosa. Los segundos transcurrian 
enormes. Winston dificultosamente conseguia 
mantener su mirada fija en los ojos de O'Brien. 
Luego, de pronto, el sombrfo rostra se ilumino con 
el inicio de una sonrisa. Con su gesto caracterfstico, 
O'Brien se aseguro las gafas sobre la nariz. 


— ^Lo digo yo o lo dices tu? — pregunto O'Brien. 


— Lo dire yo — respondio Winston al instante — . 
^Esta eso completamente cerrado? 


— Si — , no funciona ningun aparato en esta 
habitacion. Estamos solos. 


— Pues vinimos aqui porque... 

Se interrumpio dandose cuenta por primera vez de 
la vaguedad de sus propositos. No sabia 
exactamente que clase de ayuda esperaba de 
O'Brien. Prosiguio, consciente de que sus palabras 
sonaban vacilantes y presuntuosas: 


Creemos que existe un movimiento clandestine, 
una especie de organizacion secreta que actua 
contra el Partido y que tu estas metido en esto. 
Queremos formar parte de esta organizacion y 
trabajar en lo que podamos. Somos enemigos del 
Partido. No creemos en los principios de Ingsoc. 
Somos criminales del pensamiento. Ademas, somos 
adulteros. Te digo todo esto porque deseamos 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


201 


ourselves in any other way, we are ready.' 


He stopped and glanced over his shoulder, with the 
feeling that the door had opened. Sure enough, the 
little yellow-faced servant had come in without 
knocking. Winston saw that he was carrying a tray 
with a decanter and glasses. 


'Martin is one of us,' said O'Brien impassively. 
'Bring the drinks over here, Martin. Put them on 
the round table. Have we enough chairs? Then we 
may as well sit down and talk in comfort. Bring a 
chair for yourself, Martin. This is business. You 
can stop being a servant for the next ten minutes.' 


The little man sat down, quite at his ease, and yet 
still with a servant-like air, the air of a valet 
enjoying a privilege. Winston regarded him out of 
the comer of his eye. It struck him that the man's 
whole life was playing a part, and that he felt it to 
be dangerous to drop his assumed personality even 
for a moment. O'Brien took the decanter by the 
neck and filled up the glasses with a dark-red 
liquid. It aroused in Winston dim memories of 
something seen long ago on a wall or a hoarding — 
a vast bottle composed of electric lights which 
seemed to move up and down and pour its contents 
into a glass. Seen from the top the stuff looked 
almost black, but in the decanter it gleamed like a 
ruby. It had a sour-sweet smell. He saw Julia pick 
up her glass and sniff at it with frank curiosity. 


'It is called wine,' said O'Brien with a faint smile. 
'You will have read about it in books, no doubt. 
Not much of it gets to the Outer Party, I am afraid.' 
His face grew solemn again, and he raised his 
glass: 'I think it is fitting that we should begin by 
drinking a health. To our Leader: To Emmanuel 
Goldstein.' 


Winston took up his glass with a certain eagerness. 
Wine was a thing he had read and dreamed about. 
Like the glass paperweight or Mr Charrington's 


ponernos a tu merced. Si quieres que nos acusemos 
de cualquier otra cosa, estamos dispuestos a 
hacerlo. 


Winston dejo de hablar al darse cuenta de que la 
puerta se habla abierto. Miro por encima de su 
hombro. Era el criado de cara amarillenta, que 
habla entrado sin llamar. Trala una bandeja con una 
botella y vasos. 

— Martin es uno de los nuestros — dijo O'Brien 
impasible. Pon aqul las bebidas, Martin. SI, en la 
mesa redonda. ^Tcncmos bastantes sillas? 
Sentemonos para hablar comodamente. Sientate tu 
tambien, Martin. Ahora puedes dejar de ser criado 
durante diez minutos. 


El hombrecillo se sento a sus anchas, pero sin 
abandonar el aire servil. Parecla un lacayo al que le 
han concedido el privilegio de sentarse con sus 
amos. Winston lo miraba con el rabillo del ojo. Le 
admiraba que aquel hombre se pasara la vida 
representando un papel y que le pareciera peligroso 
prescindir de su fingida personalidad aunque fuera 
por unos momentos. O'Brien tomo la botella por el 
cuello y lleno los vasos de un llquido rojo oscuro. 
A Winston le recordo algo que desde hacla muchos 
anos no bebla, un anuncio luminoso que 
representaba una botella que se movla sola y 
llenaba un vaso incontables veces. Visto desde 
arriba, el llquido parecla casi negro, pero la botella, 
de buen cristal, tenia un color rubl. Su sabor era 
agridulce. Vio que Julia cogla su vaso y lo olla con 
gran curiosidad. 

— Se llama vino — dijo O'Brien con una debil 
sonrisa — . Seguramente, ustedes lo habran oldo 
citar en los libros. Creo que a los miembros del 
Partido Exterior no les llega. — Su cara volvio a 
ensombrecerse y levanto el vaso — . Creo que 
debemos empezar brindando por nuestro jefe: por 
Emmanuel Goldstein. 


Winston cogio su vaso titubeando. Habla leldo 
referencias del vino y habla sonado con el. Como el 
pisapapeles de cristal o las canciones del senor 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


202 


half-remembered rhymes, it belonged to the 
vanished, romantic past, the olden time as he liked 
to call it in his secret thoughts. For some reason he 
had always thought of wine as having an intensely 
sweet taste, like that of blackberry jam and an 
immediate intoxicating effect. Actually, when he 
came to swallow it, the stuff was distinctly 
disappointing. The truth was that after years of 
gin-drinking he could barely taste it. He set down 
the empty glass. 


'Then there is such a person as Goldstein?' he said. 


'Yes, there is such a person, and he is alive. Where, 
I do not know.' 


'And the conspiracy — the organization? Is it real? 
It is not simply an invention of the Thought 
Police?' 


'No, it is real. The Brotherhood, we call it. You 
will never learn much more about the Brotherhood 
than that it exists and that you belong to it. I will 
come back to that presently.' He looked at his 
wrist-watch. 'It is unwise even for members of the 
Inner Party to turn off the telescreen for more than 
half an hour. You ought not to have come here 
together, and you will have to leave separately. 
You, comrade' — he bowed his head to Julia — 'will 
leave first. We have about twenty minutes at our 
disposal. You will understand that I must start by 
asking you certain questions. In general terms, 
what are you prepared to do?' 


'Anything that we are capable of,' said Winston. 


O'Brien had turned himself a little in his chair so 
that he was facing Winston. He almost ignored 
Julia, seeming to take it for granted that Winston 
could speak for her. For a moment the lids flitted 
down over his eyes. He began asking his questions 
in a low, expressionless voice, as though this were 
a routine, a sort of catechism, most of whose 


Charrington, pertenecia al romantico y 
desaparecido pasado, la epoca en que el se recreaba 
en sus secretas meditaciones. No sabia por que, 
siempre habia crefdo que el vino tenia un sabor 
intensamente dulce, como de mermelada y un 
efecto intoxicante inmediato. Pero al beberlo ahora 
por primera vez, le decepciono. La verdad era que 
despues de tantos anos de beber ginebra aquello le 
parecia insipido. Volvio a dejar el vaso vacio sobre 
la mesa. 


— Entonces, ^existe de verdad ese Goldstein? — 
pregunto. 

— Si, esa persona no es ninguna fantasia, y vive. 
Donde, no lo se. 


— Y la conspiracion..., la organizacion, ^es 
autentica?, <mio es solo un invento de la Policia del 
Pensamiento? 


— No, es una realidad. La llamamos la Hermandad. 
Nunca se sabe de la Hermandad, sino que existe y 
que uno pertenece a ella. En seguida volvere a 
hablarte de eso. — Miro el reloj de pulsera — . Ni 
siquiera los miembros del Partido Interior deben 
mantener cerrada la telepantalla mas de media hora. 
No debiais haber venido aqui juntos; tendreis que 
marcharos por separado. Tu, camarada — le dijo a 
Julia — , te marcharas primero. Disponemos de 
unos veinte minutos. Comprendereis que debo 
empezar por haceros algunas preguntas. En 
terminos generales, ^que estais dispuestos a hacer? 


— Todo aquello de que seamos capaces — dijo 
Winston. 


O'Brien habia ladeado un poco su silla hacia 
Winston de manera que casi le volvia la espalda a 
Julia, dando por cierto que, Winston podia hablar a 
la vez por si y por ella. Empezo pestaneando un 
momento y luego inicio sus preguntas con voz baja 
e inexpresivo, como si se tratara de una rutina, una 
especie de catecismo, la mayorfa de cuyas 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


203 


answers were known to him already. 
'You are prepared to give your lives?' 
'Yes.' 


'You are prepared to commit murder?' 
'Yes.' 


'To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the 
death of hundreds of innocent people?' 

'Yes.' 


'To betray your country to foreign powers?' 


'Yes.' 


'You are prepared to cheat, to forge, to blackmail, 
to corrupt the minds of children, to distribute 
habit-forming drugs, to encourage prostitution, to 
disseminate venereal diseases — to do anything 
which is likely to cause demoralization and 
weaken the power of the Party?' 

'Yes.' 


'If, for example, it would somehow serve our 
interests to throw sulphuric acid in a child's face — 
are you prepared to do that?' 

'Yes.' 


'You are prepared to lose your identity and live out 
the rest of your life as a waiter or a dock- worker?' 


respuestas le fueran ya conocidas. 


— ^Estais dispuestos a dar vuestras vidas? 


— Sr. 


— ^Estais dispuestos a cometer asesinatos? 


— Sr. 


— lA cometer actos de sabotaje que pueden causar 
la muerte de centenares de personas inocentes? 


— Sr. 


— ^Vender a vuestro pars a las potencias 
extranjeras? 


— Sr. 


— ^Estais dispuestos a hacer trampas, a falsificar, a 
hacer chantaje, a corromper a los ninos, a distribuir 
drogas, a fomentar la prostitucion, a extender 
enfermedades venereas... a hacer todo lo que pueda 
causar desmoralizacion y debilitar el poder del 
Partido? 


— Sr. 


— Si, por ejemplo, sirviera de algun modo a 
nuestros intereses arrojar acido sulfurico a la cara 
de un nino, ^estarrais dispuestos a hacerlo? 

— Sr. 


— ^Estais dispuestos a perder vuestra identidad y a 
vivir el resto de vuestras vidas como camareros, 
cargadores de puerto, etc.? 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


204 


'Yes.' 


'You are prepared to commit suicide, if and when 
we order you to do so?' 


'Yes.' 


'You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and 
never see one another again?' 

'No!' broke in Julia. 


It appeared to Winston that a long time passed 
before he answered. For a moment he seemed even 
to have been deprived of the power of speech. His 
tongue worked soundlessly, forming the opening 
syllables first of one word, then of the other, over 
and over again. Until he had said it, he did not 
know which word he was going to say. 'No,' he 
said finally. 

'You did well to tell me,' said O'Brien. 'It is 
necessary for us to know everything.' 


He turned himself toward Julia and added in a 
voice with somewhat more expression in it: 

'Do you understand that even if he survives, it may 
be as a different person? We may be obliged to 
give him a new identity. His face, his movements, 
the shape of his hands, the colour of his hair — 
even his voice would be different. And you 
yourself might have become a different person. 
Our surgeons can alter people beyond recognition. 
Sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes we even 
amputate a limb.' 


Winston could not help snatching another sidelong 


— Si 


— ^Estais dispuestos a suicidaros si os lo 
ordenamos y en el momento en que lo 
ordenasemos? 


— Si. 


— ,-Estais dispuestos, los dos, a separaros y no 
volveros a ver nunca? 


— No — interrumpio Julia. 

A Winston le parecio que habfa pasado muchfsimo 
tiempo antes de contestar. Durante algunos 
momentos creyo haber perdido el habla. Se le 
movfa la lengua sin emitir sonidos, formando las 
primeras sflabas de una palabra y luego de otra. 
Hasta que lo dijo, no sabfa que palabra iba a decir: 

— No — dijo por fin. 


— Haceis bien en decfrmelo — repuso O'Brien — . 
Es necesario que lo conozcamos todo. 

Se volvio hacia Julia y anadio con una voz algo 
mas animada: 


— ^Te das cuenta de que, aunque el sobreviviera, 
serfa una persona diferente? Podrfamos vernos 
obligados a darle una nueva identidad. Le 
cambianamos la cara, los movimientos, la forma de 
sus manos, el color del pelo... hasta la voz, y tu 
tambien podrfas convertirte en una persona distinta. 
Nuestros cirujanos transforman a las personas de 
manera que es imposible reconocerlas. A veces, es 
necesario. En ciertos casos, amputamos algun 
miembro. 


Winston no pudo evitar otra mirada de soslayo a la 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


205 


glance at Martin's Mongolian face. There were no 
scars that he could see. Julia had turned a shade 
paler, so that her freckles were showing, but she 
faced O'Brien boldly. She murmured something 
that seemed to be assent. 


'Good. Then that is settled.' 


There was a silver box of cigarettes on the table. 
With a rather absent-minded air O'Brien pushed 
them towards the others, took one himself, then 
stood up and began to pace slowly to and fro, as 
though he could think better standing. They were 
very good cigarettes, very thick and well-packed, 
with an unfamiliar silkiness in the paper. O'Brien 
looked at his wrist-watch again. 

'You had better go back to your Pantry, Martin,' he 
said. 'I shall switch on in a quarter of an hour. Take 
a good look at these comrades' faces before you 
go. You will be seeing them again. I may not.' 


Exactly as they had done at the front door, the little 
man's dark eyes flickered over their faces. There 
was not a trace of friendliness in his manner. He 
was memorizing their appearance, but he felt no 
interest in them, or appeared to feel none. It 
occurred to Winston that a synthetic face was 
perhaps incapable of changing its expression. 
Without speaking or giving any kind of salutation, 
Martin went out, closing the door silently behind 
him. O'Brien was strolling up and down, one hand 
in the pocket of his black overalls, the other 
holding his cigarette. 


'You understand,' he said, 'that you will be fighting 
in the dark. You will always be in the dark. You 
will receive orders and you will obey them, 
without knowing why. Later I shall send you a 
book from which you will learn the true nature of 
the society we live in, and the strategy by which 
we shall destroy it. When you have read the book, 
you will be full members of the Brotherhood. But 


cara mongolica de Martin. No se le notaban 
cicatrices. Julia estaba algo mas palida y le 
resaltaban las pecas, pero miro a O'Brien con 
valentia. Murmuro algo que parecia conformidad. 


— Bueno. Entonces ya esta todo arreglado — dijo 
O'Brien. 


Sobre la mesa habia una caja de plata con 
cigarrillos. Con aire distraido, O'Brien la fue 
acercando a los otros. Tomo el un cigarrillo, se 
levanto y empezo a pasear por la habitacion como 
si de este modo pudiera pensar mejor. Eran 
cigarrillos muy buenos; no se les caia el tabaco y el 
papel era sedoso. O'Brien volvio a mirar su reloj de 
pulsera. 

— Vuelve a tu servicio, Martin — dijo — . Volvere 
a poner en marcha la telepantalla dentro de un 
cuarto de hora. Fijate bien en las caras de estos 
camaradas antes de salir. Es posible que los vuelvas 
a ver. Yo quiza no. 

Exactamente como habian hecho al entrar, los ojos 
oscuros del hombrecillo recorrieron rapidos los 
rostros de Julia y Winston. No habia en su actitud 
la menor afabilidad. Estaba registrando unas 
facciones, grabandoselas, pero no sentia el menor 
interes por ellos o parecia no sentirlo. Se le ocurrio 
a Winston que quizas un rostro transformado no 
fuera capaz de variar de expresion. Sin hablar ni 
una palabra ni hacer el menor gesto de despedida, 
salio Martin, cerrando silenciosamente la puerta 
tras el. O'Brien seguia paseando por la estancia con 
una mano en el bolsillo de su «mono» negro y en la 
otra el cigarrillo. 


— Ya comprendereis — dijo — que tendreis que 
luchar a oscuras. Siempre a oscuras. Recibireis 
ordenes y las obedecereis sin saber por que. Mas 
adelante os mandare un libro que os aclarara la 
verdadera naturaleza de la sociedad en que vivimos 
y la estrategia que hemos de emplear para 
destruirla. Cuando hayais leido el libro, sereis 
plenamente miembros de la Hermandad. Pero entre 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


206 


between the general aims that we are fighting for 
and the immediate tasks of the moment, you will 
never know anything. I tell you that the 
Brotherhood exists, but I cannot tell you whether it 
numbers a hundred members, or ten million. From 
your personal knowledge you will never be able to 
say that it numbers even as many as a dozen. You 
will have three or four contacts, who will be 
renewed from time to time as they disappear. As 
this was your first contact, it will be preserved. 
When you receive orders, they will come from me. 
If we find it necessary to communicate with you, it 
will be through Martin. When you are finally 
caught, you will confess. That is unavoidable. But 
you will have very little to confess, other than your 
own actions. You will not be able to betray more 
than a handful of unimportant people. Probably 
you will not even betray me. By that time I may be 
dead, or I shall have become a different person, 
with a different face.' 


He continued to move to and fro over the soft 
carpet. In spite of the bulkiness of his body there 
was a remarkable grace in his movements. It came 
out even in the gesture with which he thrust a hand 
into his pocket, or manipulated a cigarette. More 
even than of strength, he gave an impression of 
confidence and of an understanding tinged by 
irony. However much in earnest he might be, he 
had nothing of the single-mindedness that belongs 
to a fanatic. When he spoke of murder, suicide, 
venereal disease, amputated limbs, and altered 
faces, it was with a faint air of persiflage. 'This is 
unavoidable,' his voice seemed to say; 'this is what 
we have got to do, unflinchingly. But this is not 
what we shall be doing when life is worth living 
again.' A wave of admiration, almost of worship, 
flowed out from Winston towards O'Brien. For the 
moment he had forgotten the shadowy figure of 
Goldstein. When you looked at O'Brien's powerful 
shoulders and his blunt-featured face, so ugly and 
yet so civilized, it was impossible to believe that 
he could be defeated. There was no stratagem that 
he was not equal to, no danger that he could not 
foresee. Even Julia seemed to be impressed. She 
had let her cigarette go out and was listening 
intently. O'Brien went on: 


los fines generales por los que luchamos y las 
tareas inmediatas de cada momento habra un vacio 
para vosotros sobre el que nada sabreis. Os digo 
que la Hermandad existe, pero no puedo deciros si 
la constituyen un centenar de miembros o diez 
millones. Por vosotros mismos no llegareis a saber 
nunca si hay una docena de afiliados. Tendreis solo 
tres o cuatro personas en contacto con vosotros que 
se renovaran de vez en cuando a medida que vayan 
desapareciendo. Como yo he sido el primero en 
entrar en contacto con vosotros, seguiremos 
manteniendo la comunicacion. Cuando recibais 
ordenes, procederan de mi. Si creemos necesario 
comunicaras algo, lo haremos por medio de Martin. 
Cuando, finalmente, os cojan, confesareis. Esto es 
inevitable. Pero tendreis muy poco que confesar 
aparte de vuestra propia actuacion. No podeis 
traicionar mas que a unas cuantas personas sin 
importancia. Quiza ni siquiera os sea posible 
delatarme. Por entonces, quiza yo haya muerto o 
sere ya una persona diferente con una cara distinta. 

Siguio paseando sobre la suave alfombra. A pesar 
de su corpulencia, tenia una notable gracia de 
movimientos. Gracia que aparecia incluso en el 
gesto de meterse la mano en el bolsillo o de 
manejar el cigarrillo. Mas que de fuerza daba una 
impresion de confianza y de comprension iranica. 
Aunque hablara en serio, nada tenia de la rigidez 
del fanatico. Cuando hablaba de asesinatos, 
suicidio, enfermedades venereas, miembros 
amputados o caras cambiadas, lo hacia en tono de 
broma. «Esto es inevitable» — parecia decir su voz 
— ; «esto es lo que hemos de hacer queramos o no. 
Pero ya no tendremos que hacerlo cuando la vida 
vuelva a ser digna de ser vivida.» Una oleada de 
admiracion, casi de adoracion, iba de Winston a 
O'Brien. Casi habia olvidado la sombria figura de 
Goldstein. Contemplando las vigorosas espaldas de 
O'Brien y su rostra energicamente tallado, tan feo y 
a la vez tan civilizado, era imposible creer — en la 
derrota, en que el fuera vencido. No se concebia 
una estratagema, un peligro a que el no pudiera 
hacer frente. Hasta Julia parecia impresionada. 
Habia dejado quemarse solo su cigarrillo y 
escuchaba con intensa atencion. O'Brien prosiguio: 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


207 


'You will have heard rumours of the existence of 
the Brotherhood. No doubt you have formed your 
own picture of it. You have imagined, probably, a 
huge underworld of conspirators, meeting secretly 
in cellars, scribbling messages on walls, 
recognizing one another by codewords or by 
special movements of the hand. Nothing of the 
kind exists. The members of the Brotherhood have 
no way of recognizing one another, and it is 
impossible for any one member to be aware of the 
identity of more than a few others. Goldstein 
himself, if he fell into the hands of the Thought 
Police, could not give them a complete list of 
members, or any information that would lead them 
to a complete list. No such list exists. The 
Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not 
an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing 
holds it together except an idea which is 
indestructible. You will never have anything to 
sustain you, except the idea. You will get no 
comradeship and no encouragement. When finally 
you are caught, you will get no help. We never 
help our members. At most, when it is absolutely 
necessary that someone should be silenced, we are 
occasionally able to smuggle a razor blade into a 
prisoner's cell. You will have to get used to living 
without results and without hope. You will work 
for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, 
and then you will die. Those are the only results 
that you will ever see. There is no possibility that 
any perceptible change will happen within our own 
lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in 
the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of 
dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that 
future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a 
thousand years. At present nothing is possible 
except to extend the area of sanity little by little. 
We cannot act collectively. We can only spread 
our knowledge outwards from individual to 
individual, generation after generation. In the face 
of the Thought Policethere is no other way.' 


He halted and looked for the third time at his 
wrist-watch. 


'It is almost time for you to leave, comrade,' he 


— Habreis oido rumores sobre la existencia de la 
Hermandad. Supongo que la habreis imaginado a 
vuestra manera. Seguramente creereis que se trata 
de un mundo subterraneo de conspiradores que se 
reunen en sotanos, que escriben mensajes sobre los 
muros y se reconocen unos a otros por senales 
secretas, palabras misteriosas o movimientos 
especiales de las manos. Nada de eso. Los 
miembros de la Hermandad no tienen modo alguno 
de reconocerse entre ellos y es imposible que 
ninguno de los miembros llegue a individualizar 
sino a muy contados de sus afiliados. El propio 
Goldstein, si cayera en manos de la Policia del 
Pensamiento, no podrfa dar una lista completa de 
los afiliados ni informacion alguna que les sirviera 
para hacer el servicio. En realidad, no hay tal lista. 
La Hermandad no puede ser barrida porque no es 
una organizacion en el sentido corriente de la 
palabra. Nada mantiene su cohesion a no ser la idea 
de que es indestructible. No tendreis nada en que 
apoyaros aparte de esa idea. No encontrareis 
camaraderfa ni esthnulo. Cuando finalmente seais 
detenidos por la Policia, nadie os ayudara. Nunca 
ayudamos a nuestros afiliados. Todo lo mas, 
cuando es absolutamente necesario que alguien 
calle, introducimos clandestinamente una hoja de 
afeitar en la celda del companero detenido. Es la 
unica ayuda que a veces prestamos. Debeis 
acostumbraras a la idea de vivir sin esperanza. 
Trabajareis algun tiempo, os detendran, confesareis 
y luego os mataran. Esos seran los unicos 
resultados que podreis ver. No hay posibilidad de 
que se produzca ningun cambio perceptible durante 
vuestras vidas. Nosotros somos los muertos. 
Nuestra unica vida verdadera esta en el futuro. 
Tomaremos parte en el como punados de polvo y 
astillas de hueso. Pero no se sabe si este futuro esta 
mas o menos lejos. Quiza tarde mil anos. Por ahora 
lo unico posible es ir extendiendo el area de la 
cordura poco a poco. No podemos actuar 
colectivamente. Solo podemos difundir nuestro 
conocimiento de individuo en individuo, de 
generacion en generacion. Ante la Policia del 
Pensamiento no hay otro medio. 


Se detuvo y miro por tercera vez su reloj. 


— Ya es casi la hora de que te vayas, camarada — 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


208 


said to Julia. 'Wait. The decanter is still half full.' 


He filled the glasses and raised his own glass by 
the stem. 


'What shall it be this time?' he said, still with the 
same faint suggestion of irony. 'To the confusion 
of the Thought Police? To the death of Big 
Brother? To humanity? To the future?' 


'To the past,' said Winston. 

'The past is more important,' agreed O'Brien 
gravely. 

They emptied their glasses, and a moment later 
Julia stood up to go. O'Brien took a small box 
from the top of a cabinet and handed her a flat 
white tablet which he told her to place on her 
tongue. It was important, he said, not to go out 
smelling of wine: the lift attendants were very 
observant. As soon as the door had shut behind her 
he appeared to forget her existence. He took 
another pace or two up and down, then stopped. 


'There are details to be settled,' he said. 'I assume 
that you have a hiding-place of some kind?' 

Winston explained about the room over Mr 
Charrington's shop. 

'That will do for the moment. Later we will 
arrange something else for you. It is important to 
change one's hiding-place frequently. Meanwhile I 
shall send you a copy of THE BOOK' — even 
O'Brien, Winston noticed, seemed to pronounce 
the words as though they were in italics — 
'Goldstein's book, you understand, as soon as 
possible. It may be some days before I can get hold 
of one. There are not many in existence, as you 
can imagine. The Thought Police hunt them down 
and destroy them almost as fast as we can produce 


le dijo a Julia — . Espera. La botella esta todavra 
por la mitad. 

Lleno los vasos y levanto el suyo. 


— ^Por que brindaremos esta vez? — dijo, sin 
perder su tono ironico — . ^Por el despiste de la 
Policra del Pensamiento? ^Por la muerte del Gran 
Hermano? ^Por la humanidad? ^Por el futuro? 

— Por el pasado — dijo Winston. 

— Sr, el pasado es mas importante — concedio 
O'Brien seriamente. 


Vaciaron los vasos y un momento despues se 
levanto Julia para marcharse. O'Brien cogio una 
cajita que estaba sobre un pequeno armario y le dio 
a la joven una tableta delgada y blanca para que se 
la colocara en la lengua. Era muy importante no 
salir oliendo a vino; los encargados del ascensor 
eran muy observadores. En cuanto Julia cerro la 
puerta, O'Brien parecio olvidarse de su existencia. 
Dio unos cuantos pasos mas y se paro. 

— Hay que arreglar todavra unos cuantos detalles 
— dijo — . Supongo que tendras algun escondite. 

Winston le explico lo de la habitacion sobre la 
tienda del senor Charrington. 

— Por ahora, basta con eso. Mas tarde te 
buscaremos otra cosa. Hay que cambiar de 
escondite con frecuencia. Mientras tanto, te enviare 
una copia del libro. — Winston observo que hasta 
O'Brien parecra pronunciar esa palabra en cursiva 
— . Ya supondras que me refiero al libro de 
Goldstein. Te lo mandare lo mas pronto posible. 
Quiza tarde algunos dras en lograr el ejemplar. 
Comprenderas que circulan muy pocos. La Policra 
del Pensamiento los descubre y destruye casi con la 
misma rapidez que los imprimimos nosotros. Pero 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


209 


them. It makes very little difference. The book is 
indestructible. If the last copy were gone, we could 
reproduce it almost word for word. Do you carry a 
brief-case to work with you?' he added. 

'As a rule, yes.' 


'What is it like?' 


'Black, very shabby. With two straps.' 


'Black, two straps, very shabby — good. One day in 
the fairly near future — I cannot give a date — one 
of the messages among your morning's work will 
contain a misprinted word, and you will have to 
ask for a repeat. On the following day you will go 
to work without your brief-case. At some time 
during the day, in the street, a man will touch you 
on the arm and say "I think you have dropped your 
brief-case." The one he gives you will contain a 
copy of Goldstein's book. You will return it within 
fourteen days.' 


They were silent for a moment. 


'There are a couple of minutes before you need go,' 
said O'Brien. 'We shall meet again — if we do meet 
again — ' 


Winston looked up at him. 'In the place where 
there is no darkness?' he said hesitantly. 


O'Brien nodded without appearance of surprise. 'In 
the place where there is no darkness,' he said, as 
though he had recognized the allusion. 'And in the 
meantime, is there anything that you wish to say 
before you leave? Any message? Any question?.' 


Winston thought. There did not seem to be any 


da lo mismo. Ese libro es indestructible. Si el 
ultimo ejemplar desapareciera, podrfamos 
reproducirlo de memoria. ^Sueles llevar una cartera 
a la oficina? Anadio. 


— Si. Casi siempre. 

— ^Como es? 

— Negra, muy usada. Con dos correas. 

— Negra, dos correas, muy usada... Bien. Algun 
dfa de estos, no puedo darte una fecha exacta, uno 
de los mensajes que te lleguen en tu trabajo de la 
manana contendra una errata y tendras que pedir 
que te lo repitan. A1 dfa siguiente iras al trabajo sin 
la cartera. A cierta hora del dfa, en la calle, se te 
acercara un hombre y te tocara en el brazo, 
diciendote: «Creo que se te ha cafdo esta cartera». 
La que te de contendra un ejemplar del libro de 
Goldstein. Tienes que devolverlo a los catorce dfas 
o antes por el mismo procedimiento. 

Estuvieron callados un momento. 


— Falta un par de minutos para que tengas que irte 
— dijo O'Brien — . Quiza volvamos a encontramos, 
aunque es muy poco probable, y entonces nos 
veremos en... 


Winston lo miro fijamente. 

— ... En el sitio donde no hay oscuridad? — dijo 
vacilando. 


O'Brien asintio con la cabeza, sin dar senales de 
extraneza: 

— En el sitio donde no hay oscuridad — repitio 
como si hubiera recogido la alusion — . Y mientras 
tanto, ^hay algo que quieras decirme antes de salir 
de aquf ^Alguna pregunta? 

Winston penso unos instantes. No crefa tener nada 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


210 


further question that he wanted to ask: still less did 
he feel any impulse to utter high-sounding 
generalities. Instead of anything directly connected 
with O'Brien or the Brotherhood, there came into 
his mind a sort of composite picture of the dark 
bedroom where his mother had spent her last days, 
and the little room over Mr Charrington's shop, 
and the glass paperweight, and the steel engraving 
in its rosewood frame. Almost at random he said: 


'Did you ever happen to hear an old rhyme that 
begins "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St 
Clement's"?' 


Again O'Brien nodded. With a sort of grave 
courtesy he completed the stanza: 

'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St 
Clement's, You owe me three farthings, say the 
bells of St Martin's, 

When will you pay me? say the bells of Old 
Bailey, When I grow rich, say the bells of 
Shoreditch.' 


'You knew the last line!' said Winston. 


'Yes, I knew the last line. And now, I am afraid, it 
is time for you to go. But wait. You had better let 
me give you one of these tablets.' 

As Winston stood up O'Brien held out a hand. His 
powerful grip crushed the bones of Winston's 
palm. At the door Winston looked back, but 
O'Brien seemed already to be in process of putting 
him out of mind. He was waiting with his hand on 
the switch that controlled the telescreen. Beyond 
him Winston could see the writing-table with its 
green-shaded lamp and the speakwrite and the wire 
baskets deep-laden with papers. The incident was 
closed. Within thirty seconds, it occurred to him, 
O'Brien would be back at his interrupted and 
important work on behalf of the Party. 


mas que preguntar. En vez de cosas relacionadas 
con O'Brien o la Hermandad, le — acudfa a la 
mente una imagen superpuesta de la oscura 
habitacion donde su madre habla pasado los 
ultimos dfas y el dormitorio en casa del senor 
Charrington, el pisapapeles de cristal y el grabado 
con su marco de palo rosa. Entonces dijo: 


Olste alguna vez una vieja cancion que empieza: 
Naranjas y limones, dicen las campanas de San 
Clemente. 


O'Brien, muy serio, continuo la cancion: 


Me debes tres peniques, dicen las campanas de San 
Martin. 

I Cudndo me pagaras ?, dicen las campanas de Old 
Bailey. 

Cuando me haga rico, dicen las campanas de 
Shoreditch 


— j jSabfas el ultimo verso! ! — dijo Winston. 

— Si, lo se, y ahora creo que es hora de que te 
vayas. Pero, espera, toma antes una de estas 
tabletas. 


O'Brien, despues de darle la tableta, le estrecho la 
mano con tanta fuerza que los huesos de Winston 
casi crujieron. Winston se volvio al llegar a la 
puerta, pero ya O'Brien empezaba a eliminarlo de 
sus pensamientos. Esperaba con la mano puesta en 
la Have que controlaba la telepantalla. Mas alia vela 
Winston la mesa despacho con su lampara de 
pantalla verde, el hablescribe y las bandejas de 
alambre cargadas de papeles. El incidente habia 
terminado. Dentro de treinta segundos — penso 
Winston — reanudarfa O'Brien su interrumpido e 
importante trabajo al servicio del Partido. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


211 


Chapter 9 


Winston was gelatinous with fatigue. Gelatinous 
was the right word. It had come into his head 
spontaneously. His body seemed to have not only 
the weakness of a jelly, but its translucency. He 
felt that if he held up his hand he would be able to 
see the light through it. All the blood and lymph 
had been drained out of him by an enormous 
debauch of work, leaving only a frail structure of 
nerves, bones, and skin. All sensations seemed to 
be magnified. His overalls fretted his shoulders, 
the pavement tickled his feet, even the opening and 
closing of a hand was an effort that made his joints 
creak. 


He had worked more than ninety hours in five 
days. So had everyone else in the Ministry. Now it 
was all over, and he had literally nothing to do, no 
Party work of any description, until tomorrow 
morning. He could spend six hours in the hiding- 
place and another nine in his own bed. Slowly, in 
mild afternoon sunshine, he walked up a dingy 
street in the direction of Mr Charrington's shop, 
keeping one eye open for the patrols, but 
irrationally convinced that this afternoon there was 
no danger of anyone interfering with him. The 
heavy brief-case that he was carrying bumped 
against his knee at each step, sending a tingling 
sensation up and down the skin of his leg. Inside it 
was the book, which he had now had in his 
possession for six days and had not yet opened, 
nor even looked at. 


On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the 
processions, the speeches, the shouting, the 
singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the 
waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of 
trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding 
of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed 
planes, the booming of guns — after six days of 
this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its 
climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had 
boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd 
could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian 
war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on 
the last day of the proceedings, they would 


CAPITULO IX 


Winston se encontraba cansadisimo, tan cansado 
que le parecia estarse convirtiendo en gelatina. 
Penso que su cuerpo no solo tenia la flojedad de la 
gelatina, sino su transparency Era como si al 
levantar la mano fuera a ver la luz a traves de ella. 
Trabajaba tanto que solo le quedaba una fragil 
estructura de nervios, huesos y piel. Todas las 
sensaciones le parecian ampliadas. Su «mono» le 
estaba ancho, el suelo le hacia cosquillas en los pies 
y hasta el simple movimiento de abrir y cerrar la 
mano constituia para el un esfuerzo que le hacia 
sonar los huesos. 


Habia trabajado mas de noventa horas en cinco 
dias, lo mismo que todos los funcionarios del 
Ministerio. Ahora habia terminado todo y nada 
tenia que hacer hasta el dia siguiente por la 
manana. Podia pasar seis horas en su refugio y 
otras nueve en su cama. Bajo el tibio sol de la tarde 
se dirigio despacio en direccion a la tienda del 
senor Charrington, sin perder de vista las patrullas, 
pero convencido, irracionalmente, de que aquella 
tarde no se cernia sobre el ningiin peligro. La 
pesada cartera que llevaba le golpeaba la rodilla a 
cada paso. Dentro llevaba el libro, que tenia ya 
desde seis dias antes pero que aun no habia abierto. 
Ni siquiera lo habia mirado. 


En el sexto dia de la Semana del Odio, despues de 
los desfiles, discursos, gritos, canticos, banderas, 
peliculas, figuras de cera, estruendo de trompetas y 
tambores, arrastrar de pies cansados, rechinar de 
tanques, zumbido de las escuadrillas aereas, salvas 
de canonazos..., despues de seis dias de todo esto, 
cuando el gran orgasmo politico llegaba a su punto 
culminante y el odio general contra Eurasia era ya 
un delirio tan exacerbado que si la multitud hubiera 
podido apoderarse de los dos mil prisioneros de 
guerra eurasiaticos que habian sido ahorcados 
publicamente el ultimo dia de los festejos, los 
habrfa despedazado..., en ese momento 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


212 


unquestionably have torn them to pieces — at just 
this moment it had been announced that Oceania 
was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was 
at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. 


There was, of course, no admission that any 
change had taken place. Merely it became known, 
with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, 
that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy. 
Winston was taking part in a demonstration in one 
of the central London squares at the moment when 
it happened. It was night, and the white faces and 
the scarlet banners were luridly floodlit. The 
square was packed with several thousand people, 
including a block of about a thousand 
schoolchildren in the uniform of the Spies. On a 
scarlet-draped platform an orator of the Inner 
Party, a small lean man with disproportionately 
long arms and a large bald skull over which a few 
lank locks straggled, was haranguing the crowd. A 
little Rumpelstiltskin figure, contorted with hatred, 
he gripped the neck of the microphone with one 
hand while the other, enormous at the end of a 
bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his 
head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, 
boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, 
massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture 
of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying 
propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It 
was almost impossible to listen to him without 
being first convinced and then maddened. At every 
few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over 
and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a 
wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably 
from thousands of throats. The most savage yells 
of all came from the schoolchildren. The speech 
had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes 
when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a 
scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker's hand. 
He unrolled and read it without pausing in his 
speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or 
in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly 
the names were different. Without words said, a 
wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. 
Oceania was at war with Eastasia! The next 
moment there was a tremendous commotion. The 
banners and posters with which the square was 
decorated were all wrong! Quite half of them had 
the wrong faces on them. It was sabotage! The 
agents of Goldstein had been at work! There was a 


precisamente se habla anunciado que Oceania no 
estaba en guerra con Eurasia. Oceania luchaba 
ahora contra Asia Oriental. Eurasia era aliada. 


Desde luego, no se reconocio que se hubiera 
producido ningun engano. Sencillamente, se hizo 
saber del modo mas repentino y en todas partes al 
mismo tiempo que el enemigo no era Eurasia, sino 
Asia Oriental. Winston tomaba parte en una 
manifestacion que se celebraba en una de las plazas 
centrales de Londres en el momento del cambiazo. 
Era de noche y todo estaba cegadoramente 
iluminado con focos. En la plaza habla varios 
millares de personas, incluyendo mil ninos de las 
escuelas con el uniforme de los Esplas. En una 
plataforma forrada de trapos rojos, un orador del 
Partido Interior, un hombre delgaducho y bajito con 
unos brazos desproporcionadamente largos y un 
craneo grande y calvo con unos cuantos mechones 
sueltos atravesados sobre el, arengaba a la multitud. 
La pequena figura, retorcida de odio, se agarraba al 
microfono con una mano mientras que con la otra, 
enorme, al final de un brazo huesudo, daba 
zarpazos amenazadores por encima de su cabeza. 
Su voz, que los altavoces haclan metalica, soltaba 
una interminable sarta de atrocidades, matanzas en 
masa, deportaciones, saqueos, violaciones, torturas 
de prisioneros, bombardeos de poblaciones civiles, 
agresiones injustas, propaganda mentirosa y 
tratados incumplidos. Era casi imposible escucharle 
sin convencerse primero y luego volverse loco. A 
cada momento, la furia de la multitud hervla 
inconteniblemente y la voz del orador era ahogada 
por una salvaje y bestial griterla que brotaba 
incontrolablemente de millares de gargantas. Los 
chillidos mas salvajes eran los de los ninos de las 
escuelas. El discurso duraba ya unos veinte minutos 
cuando un mensajero subio apresuradamente a la 
plataforma y le entrego a aquel hombre un papelito. 
El lo desenrollo y lo leyo sin dejar de hablar. Nada 
se altero en su voz ni en su gesto, ni siquiera en el 
contenido de lo que decla. Pero, de pronto, los 
nombres eran diferentes. Sin necesidad de 
comunicarselo por palabras, una oleada de 
comprension agito a la multitud. j Oceania estaba en 
guerra con Asia Oriental! Pero, inmediatamente, se 
produjo una tremenda conmocion. Las banderas, 
los carteles que decoraban la plaza estaban todos 
equivocados. Aquellos no eran los rostros del 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


213 


riotous interlude while posters were ripped from 
the walls, banners torn to shreds and trampled 
underfoot. The Spies performed prodigies of 
activity in clambering over the rooftops and 
cutting the streamers that fluttered from the 
chimneys. But within two or three minutes it was 
all over. The orator, still gripping the neck of the 
microphone, his shoulders hunched forward, his 
free hand clawing at the air, had gone straight on 
with his speech. One minute more, and the feral 
roars of rage were again bursting from the crowd. 
The Hate continued exactly as before, except that 
the target had been changed. 


The thing that impressed Winston in looking back 
was that the speaker had switched from one line to 
the other actually in midsentence, not only without 
a pause, but without even breaking the syntax. But 
at the moment he had other things to preoccupy 
him. It was during the moment of disorder while 
the posters were being tom down that a man whose 
face he did not see had tapped him on the shoulder 
and said, 'Excuse me, I think you've dropped your 
brief-case.' He took the brief-case abstractedly, 
without speaking. He knew that it would be days 
before he had an opportunity to look inside it. The 
instant that the demonstration was over he went 
straight to the Ministry of Truth, though the time 
was now nearly twenty-three hours. The entire 
staff of the Ministry had done likewise. The orders 
already issuing from the telescreen, recalling them 
to their posts, were hardly necessary. 


Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had 
always been at war with Eastasia. A large part of 
the political literature of five years was now 
completely obsolete. Reports and records of all 
kinds, newspapers, books, pamphlets, films, 
sound-tracks, photographs — all had to be rectified 
at lightning speed. Although no directive was ever 
issued, it was known that the chiefs of the 
Department intended that within one week no 
reference to the war with Eurasia, or the alliance 
with Eastasia, should remain in existence 
anywhere. The work was overwhelming, all the 
more so because the processes that it involved 
could not be called by their true names. Everyone 
in the Records Department worked eighteen hours 


enemigo. jSabotaje! jLos agentes de Goldstein eran 
los culpables! Hubo una fenomenal algarabia 
mientras todos se dedicaban a arrancar carteles y a 
romper banderas, pisoteando luego los trozos de 
papel y carton roto. Los Esplas realizaron prodigios 
de actividad subiendose a los tejados para cortar las 
bandas de tela pintada que cruzaban la calle. Pero a 
los dos o tres minutos se habia terminado todo. El 
orador, que no habia soltado el microfono, segula 
vociferando y dando zarpazos al aire. A1 minuto 
siguiente, la masa volvla a gritar su odio 
exactamente come antes. Solo que el objetivo habia 
cambiado. 


Lo que mas le impresiono a Winston fue que el 
orador dio el cambiazo exactamente a la mitad de 
una frase, no solo sin detenerse, sino sin cambiar 
siquiera la construccion de la frase. Pero en 
aquellos momentos tenia Winston otras cosas de 
que preocuparse. Fue entonces, en medio de la gran 
algarabia, cuando se le acerco un desconocido y, 
dandole un golpecito en un hombro, le dijo: 
«Perdone, creo que se le ha caldo a usted esta 
cartera». Winston tomo la cartera sin hablar, como 
abstraldo. Sabla que iban a pasar varios dlas sin que 
pudiera abrirla. En cuanto termino la 

manifestacion, se fue directamente al Ministerio de 
la Verdad, aunque eran va las veintitres. Lo mismo 
hizo todo el personal del Ministerio. En verdad, las 
ordenes que repetlan continuamente las 

telepantallas ordenandoles reintegrarse a sus 
puestos apenas eran necesarias. Todos sablan lo 
que les tocaba hacer en tales casos. 


Oceania estaba en guerra con Asia Oriental; 
Oceania habia estado siempre en guerra con Asia 
Oriental. Una gran parte de la literatura polltica de 
aquellos cinco anos quedaba anticuada, 
absolutamente inservible. Documentos e informes 
de todas clases, periodicos, libros, folletos de 
propaganda, pellculas, bandas sonoras, 
fotograflas... todo ello tenia que ser rectificado a la 
velocidad del rayo. Aunque nunca se daban ordenes 
en estos casos, se sabla que los jefes de 
departamento deseaban que dentro de una semana 
no quedara en toda Oceania ni una sola referencia a 
la guerra con Eurasia ni a la afianza con Asia 
Oriental. El trabajo que esto suponla era aplastante. 
Sobre todo porque las operaciones necesarias para 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


214 


in the twenty-four, with two three-hour snatches of 
sleep. Mattresses were brought up from the cellars 
and pitched all over the corridors: meals consisted 
of sandwiches and Victory Coffee wheeled round 
on trolleys by attendants from the canteen. Each 
time that Winston broke off for one of his spells of 
sleep he tried to leave his desk clear of work, and 
each time that he crawled back sticky-eyed and 
aching, it was to find that another shower of paper 
cylinders had covered the desk like a snowdrift, 
half-burying the speakwrite and overflowing on to 
the floor, so that the first job was always to stack 
them into a neat enough pile to give him room to 
work. What was worst of all was that the work was 
by no means purely mechanical. Often it was 
enough merely to substitute one name for another, 
but any detailed report of events demanded care 
and imagination. Even the geographical 
knowledge that one needed in transferring the war 
from one part of the world to another was 
considerable. 


By the third day his eyes ached unbearably and his 
spectacles needed wiping every few minutes. It 
was like struggling with some crushing physical 
task, something which one had the right to refuse 
and which one was nevertheless neurotically 
anxious to accomplish. In so far as he had time to 
remember it, he was not troubled by the fact that 
every word he murmured into the speakwrite, 
every stroke of his ink-pencil, was a deliberate lie. 
He was as anxious as anyone else in the 
Department that the forgery should be perfect. On 
the morning of the sixth day the dribble of 
cylinders slowed down. For as much as half an 
hour nothing came out of the tube; then one more 
cylinder, then nothing. Everywhere at about the 
same time the work was easing off. A deep and as 
it were secret sigh went through the Department. A 
mighty deed, which could never be mentioned, had 
been achieved. It was now impossible for any 
human being to prove by documentary evidence 
that the war with Eurasia had ever happened. At 
twelve hundred it was unexpectedly announced 
that all workers in the Ministry were free till 
tomorrow morning. Winston, still carrying the 
brief-case containing the book, which had 


realizarlo no se llamaban por sus nombres 
verdaderos. En el Departamento de Registro todos 
trabajaban dieciocho horas de las veinticuatro con 
dos turnos de tres horas cada uno para dormir. 
Bajaron colchones y los pusieron por los pasillos. 
Las comidas se componfan de sandwiches y cafe de 
la Victoria traldo en carritos por los camareros de la 
cantina — . Cada vez que Winston interrumpla el 
trabajo para uno de sus dos descansos diarios, 
procuraba dejarlo todo terminado y que en su mesa 
no quedaran papeles. Pero cuando volvla al cabo de 
tres horas, con el cuerpo dolorido y los ojos 
hinchados, se encontraba con que otra lluvia de 
cilindros de papel le habia cubierto la mesa como 
una nevada, casi enterrando el hablescribe y 
esparciendose por el suelo, de modo que su primer 
trabajo consistla en ordenar todo aquello para tener 
sitio donde mo verse. Lo peor de todo era que no se 
trataba de un trabajo mecanico. A veces bastaba 
con sustituir un nombre por otro, pero los informes 
detallados de acontecimientos exiglan mucho 
cuidado e imaginacion. Incluso los conocimientos 
geograficos necesarios para trasladar la guerra de 
una parte del mundo a otra eran considerables. 

Al tercer dla le dolfan los ojos insoportablemente y 
tenia que limpiarse las gafas cada cinco minutos. 
Era como luchar contra alguna tarea flsica 
aplastante, algo que uno tenia derecho a negarse a 
realizar y que sin embargo se hacla por una 
impaciencia neurotica de verlo terminado. Es 
curioso que no le preocupara el hecho de que todas 
las palabras que iba murmurando en el hablescribe, 
as! como cada llnea escrita con su lapiz — pluma, 
era una mentira deliberada. Lo unico que le 
angustiaba era el temor de que la falsificacion no 
fuera perfecta, y esto mismo les ocurrfa a todos sus 
companeros. En la manana del sexto dla el aluvion 
de cilindros de papel fue disminuyendo. Paso 
media hora sin que saliera ninguno por el tubo; 
luego salio otro rollo y despues nada 
absolutamente. Por todas partes ocurrla igual. Un 
hondo y secreto suspiro recorrio el Ministerio. Se 
acababa de realizar una hazana que nadie podrfa 
mencionar nunca. Era imposible ya que ningun ser 
humano pudiera probar documentalmente que la 
guerra con Eurasia habia sucedido. 
Inesperadamente, se anuncio que todos los 
trabajadores del Ministerio estaban libres hasta el 
dla siguiente por la manana. Era mediodla. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


215 


remained between his feet while he worked and 
under his body while he slept, went home, shaved 
himself, and almost fell asleep in his bath, 
although the water was barely more than tepid. 


With a sort of voluptuous creaking in his joints he 
climbed the stair above Mr Charrington's shop. He 
was tired, but not sleepy any longer. He opened the 
window, lit the dirty little oilstove and put on a pan 
of water for coffee. Julia would arrive presently: 
meanwhile there was the book. He sat down in the 
sluttish armchair and undid the straps of the brief- 
case. 


A heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with 
no name or title on the cover. The print also looked 
slightly irregular. The pages were worn at the 
edges, and fell apart, easily, as though the book 
had passed through many hands. The inscription 
on the title-page ran: 

THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF 
OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM 

by 

Emmanuel Goldstein 
Winston began reading: 


Chapter I 

Ignorance is Strength 


Throughout recorded time, and probably since the 
end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three 
kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, 
and the Low. They have been subdivided in many 
ways, they have borne countless different names, 
and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude 
towards one another, have varied from age to age: 
but the essential structure of society has never 
altered. Even after enormous upheavals and 
seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern 


Winston, que llevaba todavla la cartera con el libro, 
la cual habla permanecido entre sus pies — 
mientras trabajaba — y debajo de su cuerpo 
mientras donrua. Se fue a casa, se afeito y casi se 
quedo dormido en el bano, aunque el agua estaba 
casi fria. 


Luego, con una sensacion voluptuosa, subio las 
escaleras de la tienda del senor Charrington. Por 
supuesto, estaba cansadfsimo, pero se la habia 
pasado el sueno. Abrio la ventana, encendio la 
pequena y sucia estufa y puso a calentar un cazo 
con agua. Julia llegarfa en seguida. Mientras la 
esperaba, tenia el libro. Sentose en la desvencijada 
butaca y desprendio las correas de la cartera. 

Era un pesado volumen negro, encuademado por 
algun aficionado y en cuya cubierta no habla 
nombre ni tltulo alguno. La impresion tambien era 
algo irregular. Las paginas estaban muy gastadas 
por los bordes y el libro se abrla con mucha 
facilidad, como si hubiera pasado por muchas 
manos. La inscripcion de la portada decla: 

TEORIA Y PRACTICA DEL COLECTIVISMO 
OLIGARQUICO 

por 

EMMANUEL GOLDSTEIN 


Winston empezo a leer: 

CAPrrULO PRIMERO 

La ignorancia es lafuerza 

»Durante todo el tiempo de que se tiene noticia — 
probablemente desde fines del periodo neolltico — 
ha habido en el mundo tres clases de personas: los 
Altos, los Medianos y los Bajos. Se han 
subdividido de muchos modos, han llevado muy 
diversos nombres y su numero relativo, as! como la 
actitud que han guardado unos hacia otros, ha 
variado de epoca en epoca; pero la estructura 
esencial de la sociedad nunca ha cambiado. Incluso 
despues de enormes conmociones y de cambios que 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


216 


has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope 
will always return to equilibrium, however far it is 
pushed one way or the other. 


The aims of these groups are entirely 
irreconcilable... 


Winston stopped reading, chiefly in order to 
appreciate the fact that he was reading, in comfort 
and safety. He was alone: no telescreen, no ear at 
the keyhole, no nervous impulse to glance over his 
shoulder or cover the page with his hand. The 
sweet summer air played against his cheek. From 
somewhere far away there floated the faint shouts 
of children: in the room itself there was no sound 
except the insect voice of the clock. He settled 
deeper into the arm-chair and put his feet up on the 
fender. It was bliss, it was eternity. Suddenly, as 
one sometimes does with a book of which one 
knows that one will ultimately read and re-read 
every word, he opened it at a different place and 
found himself at Chapter III. He went on reading: 

Chapter III 
War is Peace 

The splitting up of the world into three great super- 
states was an event which could be and indeed was 
foreseen before the middle of the twentieth 
century. With the absorption of Europe by Russia 
and of the British Empire by the United States, two 
of the three existing powers, Eurasia and Oceania, 
were already effectively in being. The third, 
Eastasia, only emerged as a distinct unit after 
another decade of confused fighting. The frontiers 
between the three super- states are in some places 
arbitrary, and in others they fluctuate according to 
the fortunes of war, but in general they follow 
geographical lines. Eurasia comprises the whole of 
the northern part of the European and Asiatic land- 
mass, from Portugal to the Bering Strait. Oceania 
comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands 
including the British Isles, Australasia, and the 


parecian irrevocables, la misma estructura ha vuelto 
a imponerse, igual que un giroscopio vuelve 
siempre a la posicion de equilibrio por mucho que 
lo empujemos en un sentido o en otro. 

»Los objetivos de estos tres grupos son por 
completo inconciliables. 

Winston interrumpid la lectura, sobre todo para 
poder disfrutar bien del hecho asombroso de 
hallarse leyendo tranquilo y seguro. Estaba solo, sin 
telepantalla, sin nadie que escuchara por la 
cerradura, sin sentir el impulso nervioso de mirar 
por encima del hombro o de cubrir la pagina con la 
mano. Un airecillo suave le acariciaba la mejilla. 
De lejos venian los gritos de los ninos que jugaban. 
En la habitacion misma no habia mas sonido que el 
debil tic — tac del reloj, un ruido como de insecto. 
Se arrellano mas comodamente en la butaca y puso 
los pies en los hierros de la chimenea. Aquello era 
una bendicion, era la etemidad. De pronto, como 
suele hacerse cuando sabemos que un libro sera 
leido y releido por nosotros, sintio el deseo de 
«calarlo» primero. Asi, lo abrio por un sitio distinto 
y se encontro en el capitulo tercero. Siguio leyendo: 

«CAPITULO III 

La guerra es la paz 

»La desintegracion del mundo en tres grandes 
superestados fue un acontecimiento que pudo haber 
sido previsto, y que en realidad lo fue antes de 
mediar el siglo XX. A1 ser absorbida Europa por 
Rusia y el Imperio Britanico por los Estados 
Unidos, hablan nacido ya en esencia dos de los tres 
poderes ahora existentes, Eurasia y Oceania. El 
tercero, Asia Oriental, solo surgio como unidad 
aparte despues de otra decada de confusa lucha. Las 
fronteras entre los tres superestados son arbitrarias 
en algunas zonas y en otras fluctuan segun los 
altibajos de la guerra, pero en general se atienen a 
lineas geograficas. Eurasia comprende toda la parte 
norte de la masa terrestre europea y asiatica, desde 
Portugal hasta el Estrecho de Bering. Oceania 
comprende las Americas, las islas del Atlantico, 
incluyendo a las Islas Britanicas, Australasia y 



217 


George Orwell 

southern portion of Africa. Eastasia, smaller than 
the others and with a less definite western frontier, 
comprises China and the countries to the south of 
it, the Japanese islands and a large but fluctuating 
portion of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet. 


In one combination or another, these three super- 
states are permanently at war, and have been so for 
the past twenty-five years. War, however, is no 
longer the desperate, annihilating struggle that it 
was in the early decades of the twentieth century. 
It is a warfare of limited aims between combatants 
who are unable to destroy one another, have no 
material cause for fighting and are not divided by 
any genuine ideological difference. This is not to 
say that either the conduct of war, or the prevailing 
attitude towards it, has become less bloodthirsty or 
more chivalrous. On the contrary, war hysteria is 
continuous and universal in all countries, and such 
acts as raping, looting, the slaughter of children, 
the reduction of whole populations to slavery, and 
reprisals against prisoners which extend even to 
boiling and burying alive, are looked upon as 
normal, and, when they are committed by one's 
own side and not by the enemy, meritorious. But in 
a physical sense war involves very small numbers 
of people, mostly highly-trained specialists, and 
causes comparatively few casualties. The fighting, 
when there is any, takes place on the vague 
frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can 
only guess at, or round the Floating Fortresses 
which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes. In the 
centres of civilization war means no more than a 
continuous shortage of consumption goods, and 
the occasional crash of a rocket bomb which may 
cause a few scores of deaths. War has in fact 
changed its character. More exactly, the reasons 
for which war is waged have changed in their 
order of importance. Motives which were already 
present to some small extent in the great wars of 
the early twentieth century have now become 
dominant and are consciously recognized and 
acted upon. 


To understand the nature of the present war — for 
in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few 
years, it is always the same war — one must reali z e 
in the first place that it is impossible for it to be 


19 8 4 

Africa meridional. Asia Oriental, potencia mas 
pequena que las otras y con una frontera occidental 
menos definida, abarca China y los paises que se 
hallan al sur de ella, las islas del Japon y una 
amplia y fluctuante porcion de Manchuria, 
Mongolia y el Tibet. 

»Estos tres superestados, en una combinacion o en 
otra, estan en guerra permanente y llevan asf 
veinticinco anos. Sin embargo, ya no es la guerra 
aquella lucha desesperada y aniquiladora que era en 
las primeras decadas del siglo XX. Es una lucha 
por objetivos limitados entre combatientes 
incapaces de destruirse unos a otros, sin una causa 
material para luchar y que no se hallan divididos 
por diferencias ideologicas claras. Esto no quiere 
decir que la conducta en la guerra ni la actitud 
hacia ella sean menos sangrientas ni mas 
caballerosas. Por el contrario, el histerismo belico 
es continuo y universal, y las violaciones, los 
saqueos, la matanza de ninos, la esclavizacion de 
poblaciones enteras y represalias contra los 
prisioneros hasta el punto de quemarlos y 
enterrarlos vivos, se consideran normales, y cuando 
esto no lo comete el enemigo sino el bando propio, 
se estima meritorio. Pero en un sentido ffsico, la 
guerra afecta a muy pocas personas, la mayorfa 
especialistas muy bien preparados, y causa pocas 
bajas relativamente. Cuando hay lucha, tiene lugar 
en confusas fronteras que el hombre medio apenas 
puede situar en un mapa o en torno a las fortalezas 
flotantes que guardan los lugares estrategicos en el 
mar. En los centros de civilizacion la guerra no 
significa mas que una continua escasez de vfveres y 
alguna que otra bomba cohete que puede causar 
unas veintenas de vfctimas. En realidad, la guerra 
ha cambiado de caracter. Con mas exactitud, puede 
decirse que ha variado el orden de importancia de 
las razones que determinaban una guerra. Se han 
convertido en dominantes y son reconocidos 
conscientemente motivos que ya estaban latentes en 
las grandes guerras de la primera mitad del siglo 
XX. 


»Para comprender la naturaleza de la guerra actual 
— pues, a pesar del reagrupamiento que ocurre 
cada pocos anos, siempre es la misma guerra — 
hay que darse cuenta en primer lugar de que esta 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


218 


decisive. None of the three super-states could be 
definitively conquered even by the other two in 
combination. They are too evenly matched, and 
their natural defences are too formidable. Eurasia 
is protected by its vast land spaces, Oceania by the 
width of the Atlantic and the Pacific, Eastasia by 
the fecundity and industriousness of its inhabitants. 
Secondly, there is no longer, in a material sense, 
anything to fight about. With the establishment of 
self-contained economies, in which production and 
consumption are geared to one another, the 
scramble for markets which was a main cause of 
previous wars has come to an end, while the 
competition for raw materials is no longer a matter 
of life and death. In any case each of the three 
super-states is so vast that it can obtain almost all 
the materials that it needs within its own 
boundaries. In so far as the war has a direct 
economic purpose, it is a war for labour power. 
Between the frontiers of the super-states, and not 
permanently in the possession of any of them, 
there lies a rough quadrilateral with its comers at 
Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong, 
containing within it about a fifth of the population 
of the earth. It is for the possession of these 
thickly-populated regions, and of the northern ice- 
cap, that the three powers are constantly 
struggling. In practice no one power ever controls 
the whole of the disputed area. Portions of it are 
constantly changing hands, and it is the chance of 
seizing this or that fragment by a sudden stroke of 
treachery that dictates the endless changes of 
alignment. 


All of the disputed territories contain valuable 
minerals, and some of them yield important 
vegetable products such as rubber which in colder 
climates it is necessary to synthesize by 
comparatively expensive methods. But above all 
they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour. 
Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the 
countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or 
the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the 
bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid 
and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these 
areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of 
slaves, pass continually from conqueror to 
conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or 
oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to 


guerra no puede ser decisiva. Ninguno de los tres 
superestados podrfa ser conquistado 
definitivamente ni siquiera por los otros dos en 
combinacion. Sus fuerzas estan demasiado bien 
equilibradas. Y sus defensas son demasiado 
poderosas. Eurasia esta protegida por sus grandes 
espacios terrestres, Oceania por la anchura del 
Atlantico y del Pacifico, Asia Oriental por la 
fecundidad y laboriosidad de sus habitantes. 
Ademas, ya no hay nada por que luchar. Con las 
economias autarquicas, la lucha por los mercados, 
que era una de las causas principals de las guerras 
anteriores, ha dejado de tener sentido, y la 
competencia por las materias primas ya no es una 
cuestion de vida o muerte. Cada uno de los tres 
superestados es tan inmenso que puede obtener casi 
todas las materias que necesita dentro de sus 
propias fronteras. Si acaso, se propone la guerra el 
dominio del trabajo. Entre las fronteras de los 
superestados, y sin pertenecer de un modo 
permanente a ninguno de ellos, se extiende un 
cuadrilatero, con sus angulos en Tanger, 
Brazzaville, Darwin y Hong Kong, que contiene 
casi una quinta parte de la poblacion de la Tierra. 
Las tres potencias luchan constantemente por la 
posesion de estas regiones densamente pobladas, 
asi como por las zonas polares. En la practica, 
ningun poder controla totalmente esa area 
disputada. Porciones de ella estan cambiando a 
cada momento de manos, y lo que en realidad 
determina los subitos y multiples cambios de 
afianzas es la posibilidad de apoderarse de uno u 
otro pedazo de tierra mediante una inesperada 
traicion. 


»Todos esos territorios disputados contienen 
valiosos minerales y algunos de ellos producen 
ciertas cosas, como la goma, que en los climas frios 
es preciso sintetizar por metodos relativamente 
caros. Pero, sobre todo, proporcionan una 
inagotable reserva de mano de obra muy barata. La 
potencia que controle el Africa Ecuatorial, los 
paises del Oriente Medio, la India Meridional o el 
Archipielago Indonesio, dispone tambien de 
centenares de millones de trabaj adores mal pagados 
y muy resistentes. Los habitantes de esas regiones, 
reducidos mas o menos abiertamente a la condicion 
de esclavos, pasan continuamente de un 
conquistador a otro y son empleados como carbon 
o aceite en la camera de armamento, armas que 



219 


George Orwell 

capture more territory, to control more labour 
power, to turn out more armaments, to capture 
more territory, and so on indefinitely. It should be 
noted that the fighting never really moves beyond 
the edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of 
Eurasia flow back and forth between the basin of 
the Congo and the northern shore of the 
Mediterranean; the islands of the Indian Ocean and 
the Pacific are constantly being captured and 
recaptured by Oceania or by Eastasia; in Mongolia 
the dividing line between Eurasia and Eastasia is 
never stable; round the Pole all three powers lay 
claim to enormous territories which in fact are 
largely uninhabited and unexplored: but the 
balance of power always remains roughly even, 
and the territory which forms the heartland of each 
super- state always remains inviolate. Moreover, 
the labour of the exploited peoples round the 
Equator is not really necessary to the world's 
economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the 
world, since whatever they produce is used for 
purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is 
always to be in a better position in which to wage 
another war. By their labour the slave populations 
allow the tempo of continuous warfare to be 
speeded up. But if they did not exist, the structure 
of world society, and the process by which it 
maintains itself, would not be essentially different. 


The primary aim of modem warfare (in accordance 
with the principles of DOUBLETHINK, this aim 
is simultaneously recognized and not recognized 
by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use 
up the products of the machine without raising the 
general standard of living. Ever since the end of 
the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do 
with the surplus of consumption goods has been 
latent in industrial society. At present, when few 
human beings even have enough to eat, this 
problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not 
have become so, even if no artificial processes of 
destruction had been at work. The world of today 
is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with 
the world that existed before 1914, and still more 
so if compared with the imaginary future to which 
the people of that period looked forward. In the 
early twentieth century, the vision of a future 
society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, and 


19 8 4 

sirven para capturar mas territories y ganar asi mas 
mano de obra, con lo cual se pueden tener mas 
armas que serviran para conquistar mas territories, 
y as! indefinidamente. Es interesante observar que 
la lucha nunca sobrepasa los lhnites de las zonas 
disputadas. Las fronteras de Eurasia avanzan y 
retroceden entre la cuenca del Congo y la orilla 
septentrional del Mediterraneo; las islas del Ocean o 
Indico y del Pacffico son conquistadas y 
reconquistadas constantemente por Oceania y por 
Asia Oriental; en Mongolia, la lfnea divisoria entre 
Eurasia y Asia Oriental nunca es estable; en torno 
al Polo Norte, las tres potencias reclaman inmensos 
territories en su mayor parte inhabitados e 
inexplorados; pero el equilibrio de poder no se 
altera apenas con todo ello y el territorio que 
constituye el suelo patrio de cada uno de los tres 
superestados nunca pierde su independencia. 
Ademas, la mano de obra de los pueblos explotados 
alrededor del Ecuador no es verdaderamente 
necesaria para la economla mundial. Nada atane a 
la riqueza del mundo, ya que todo lo que produce 
se dedica a fines de guerra, y el objeto de 
prepararse para una guerra no es mas que ponerse 
en situacion de emprender otra guerra. Las 
poblaciones esclavizadas permiten, con su trabajo, 
que se acelere el ritmo de la guerra. Pero si no 
existiera ese refuerzo de trabajo, la estructura de la 
sociedad y el proceso por el cual esta se mantiene 
no variarfan en lo esencial. 


»La finalidad principal de la guerra modema (de 
acuerdo con los principios del doblepensar) la 
reconocen y, a la vez, no la reconocen, los cerebros 
dirigentes del Partido Interior. Consiste en usar los 
productos de las maquinas sin elevar por eso el 
nivel general de la vida. Hasta fines del siglo XIX 
habla sido un problema latente de la sociedad 
industrial que habia de hacerse con el sobrante de 
los artlculos de consumo. Ahora, aunque son pocos 
los seres humanos que pueden comer lo suficiente, 
este problema no es urgente y nunca podrfa tener 
caracteres graves aunque no se emplearan 
procedimientos artificiales para destruir esos 
productos. El mundo de hoy, si lo comparamos con 
el anterior a 1914, esta desnudo, hambriento y lleno 
de desolacion; y aun mas si lo comparamos con el 
futuro que las gentes de aquella epoca esperaba. A 
principios del siglo XX la vision de una sociedad 
futura increfblemente rica, ordenada, eficaz y con 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


220 


efficient — a glittering antiseptic world of glass and 
steel and snow-white concrete — was part of the 
consciousness of nearly every literate person. 
Science and technology were developing at a 
prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume 
that they would go on developing. This failed to 
happen, partly because of the impoverishment 
caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, 
partly because scientific and technical progress 
depended on the empirical habit of thought, which 
could not survive in a strictly regimented society. 
As a whole the world is more primitive today than 
it was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas have 
advanced, and various devices, always in some 
way connected with warfare and police espionage, 
have been developed, but experiment and 
invention have largely stopped, and the ravages of 
the atomic war of the nineteen-fifties have never 
been fully repaired. Nevertheless the dangers 
inherent in the machine are still there. From the 
moment when the machine first made its 
appearance it was clear to all thinking people that 
the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a 
great extent for human inequality, had 
disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately 
for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and 
disease could be eliminated within a few 
generations. And in fact, without being used for 
any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic 
process — by producing wealth which it was 
sometimes impossible not to distribute — the 
machine did raise the living standards of the 
average human being very greatly over a period of 
about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and 
the beginning of the twentieth centuries. 


But it was also clear that an all-round increase in 
wealth threatened the destruction — indeed, in 
some sense was the destruction — of a hierarchical 
society. In a world in which everyone worked 
short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house 
with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed 
a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious 
and perhaps the most important form of inequality 
would already have disappeared. If it once became 
general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was 


tiempo para todo — un reluciente mundo 
antiseptico de cristal, acero y cemento, un mundo 
de nivea blancura — era el ideal de casi todas las 
personas cultas. La ciencia y la tecnologia se 
desarrollaban a una velocidad prodigiosa y parecia 
natural que este desarrollo no se interrumpiera 
jamas. Sin embargo, no continuo el 
perfeccionamiento, en parte por el 
empobrecimiento causado por una larga serie de 
guerras y revoluciones, y en parte porque el 
progreso cientifico y tecnico se basaba en un habito 
empfrico de pensamiento que no podia existir en 
una sociedad estrictamente reglamentada. En 
conjunto, el mundo es hoy mas primitivo que hace 
cincuenta anos. Algunas zonas secundarias han 
progresado y se han realizado algunos 
perfeccionamiento s, ligados siempre a la guerra y 
al espionaje policiaco, pero los experimentos 
cientificos y los inventos no han seguido su curso y 
los destrozos causados por la guerra atomica de los 
anos cincuenta y tantos nunca llegaron a ser 
reparados. No obstante, perduran los peligros del 
maquinismo. Cuando aparecieron las grandes 
maquinas, se penso, logicamente, que cada vez 
haria menos falta la servidumbre del trabajo y que 
esto contribuirfa en gran medida a suprimir las 
desigualdades en la condicion humana. Si las 
maquinas eran empleadas deliberadamente con esa 
finalidad, entonces el hambre, la suciedad, el 
analfabetismo, las enfermedades y el cansancio 
serian necesariamente eliminados al cabo de unas 
cuantas generaciones. Y, en realidad, sin ser 
empleada con esa finalidad, sino solo por un 
proceso automatico — produciendo riqueza que no 
habia mas remedio que distribuir — , elevo 
efectivamente la maquina el nivel de vida de las 
gentes que vivian a mediados de siglo. Estas gentes 
vivian muchisimo mejor que las de fines del siglo 
XIX. 


»Pero tambien resulto claro que un aumento de 
bienestar tan extraordinario amenazaba con la 
destruccion — era ya, en si mismo, la destruccion 
— de una sociedad jerarquica. En un mundo en que 
todos trabajaran pocas horas, tuvieran bastante que 
comer, vivieran en casas comodas e higienicas, con 
cuarto de bano, calefaccion y refrigeracion, y 
poseyera cada uno un auto o quizas un aeroplano, 
habrfa desaparecido la forma mas obvia e hiriente 
de desigualdad. Si la riqueza llegaba a 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


221 


possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which 
WEALTH, in the sense of personal possessions 
and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while 
POWER remained in the hands of a small 
privileged caste. But in practice such a society 
could not long remain stable. For if leisure and 
security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass 
of human beings who are normally stupefied by 
poverty would become literate and would learn to 
think for themselves; and when once they had 
done this, they would sooner or later realize that 
the privileged minority had no function, and they 
would sweep it away. In the long run, a 
hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of 
poverty and ignorance. To return to the 
agricultural past, as some thinkers about the 
beginning of the twentieth century dreamed of 
doing, was not a practicable solution. It conflicted 
with the tendency towards mechanization which 
had become quasi-instinctive throughout almost 
the whole world, and moreover, any country which 
remained industrially backward was helpless in a 
military sense and was bound to be dominated, 
directly or indirectly, by its more advanced rivals. 


Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the 
masses in poverty by restricting the output of 
goods. This happened to a great extent during the 
final phase of capitalism, roughly between 1920 
and 1940. The economy of many countries was 
allowed to stagnate, land went out of cultivation, 
capital equipment was not added to, great blocks 
of the population were prevented from working 
and kept half alive by State charity. But this, too, 
entailed military weakness, and since the 
privations it inflicted were obviously unnecessary, 
it made opposition inevitable. The problem was 
how to keep the wheels of industry turning without 
increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods 
must be produced, but they must not be 
distributed. And in practice the only way of 
achieving this was by continuous warfare. 


The essential act of war is destruction, not 
necessarily of human lives, but of the products of 
human labour. War is a way of shattering to 
pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking 


generalizarse, no servirfa para distinguir a nadie. 
Sin duda, era posible imaginarse una sociedad en 
que la riqueza, en el sentido de posesiones y lujos 
personales, fuera equitativamente distribuida 
mientras que el poder siguiera en manos de una 
minorfa, de una pequena casta privilegiada. Pero, 
en la practica, semejante sociedad no podrfa 
conservarse estable, porque si todos disfrutasen por 
igual del lujo y del ocio, la gran masa de seres 
humanos, a quienes la pobreza suele imbecilizar, 
aprenderfan muchas cosas y empezarfan a pensar 
por si mismos; y si empezaran a reflexionar, se 
darfan cuenta mas pronto o mas tarde que la 
minorfa privilegiada no tenia derecho alguno a 
imponerse a los demas y acabarfan barriendoles. A 
la larga, una sociedad jerarquica solo serfa posible 
basandose en la pobreza y en la ignorancia. 
Regresar al pasado agrfcola — como querfan 
algunos pensadores de principios de este siglo — 
no era una solucion practica, puesto que estarfa en 
contra de la tendencia a la mecanizacion, que se 
habfa hecho casi instintiva en el mundo entero, y, 
ademas, cualquier pals que permaneciera atrasado 
industrialmente serfa inutil en un sentido militar y 
caerfa antes o despues bajo el dominio de un 
enemigo bien armado. 

»Tampoco era una buena solucion mantener la 
pobreza de las masas restringiendo la produccion. 
Esto se practico en gran medida entre 1920 y 1940. 
Muchos pafses dejaron que su economfa se 
anquilosara. No se renovaba el material 
indispensable para la buena marcha de las 
industrias, quedaban sin cultivar las tierras, y 
grandes masas de poblacion, sin tener en que 
trabajar, vivfan de la caridad del Estado. Pero 
tambien esto implicaba una debilidad militar, y 
como las privaciones que infligla eran innecesarias, 
despertaba inevitablemente una gran oposicion. El 
problema era mantener en marcha las ruedas de la 
industria sin aumentar la riqueza real del mundo. 
Los bienes hablan de ser producidos, pero no 
distribuidos. Y, en la practica, la unica manera de 
lograr esto era la guerra continua. 

»E1 acto esencial de la guerra es la destruccion, no 
forzosamente de vidas humanas, sino de los 
productos del trabajo. La guerra es una manera de 
pulverizar o de hundir en el fondo del mar los 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


222 


in the depths of the sea, materials which might 
otherwise be used to make the masses too 
comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too 
intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not 
actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a 
convenient way of expending labour power 
without producing anything that can be consumed. 
A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in 
it the labour that would build several hundred 
cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, 
never having brought any material benefit to 
anybody, and with further enormous labours 
another Floating Fortress is built. In principle the 
war effort is always so planned as to eat up any 
surplus that might exist after meeting the bare 
needs of the population. In practice the needs of 
the population are always underestimated, with the 
result that there is a chronic shortage of half the 
necessities of life; but this is looked on as an 
advantage. It is deliberate policy to keep even the 
favoured groups somewhere near the brink of 
hardship, because a general state of scarcity 
increases the importance of small privileges and 
thus magnifies the distinction between one group 
and another. By the standards of the early 
twentieth century, even a member of the Inner 
Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. 
Nevertheless, the few luxuries that he does enjoy 
his large, well-appointed flat, the better texture of 
his clothes, the better quality of his food and drink 
and tobacco, his two or three servants, his private 
motor-car or helicopter — set him in a different 
world from a member of the Outer Party, and the 
members of the Outer Party have a similar 
advantage in comparison with the submerged 
masses whom we call 'the proles'. The social 
atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the 
possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the 
difference between wealth and poverty. And at the 
same time the consciousness of being at war, and 
therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all 
power to a small caste seem the natural, 
unavoidable condition of survival. 


War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary 
destruction, but accomplishes it in a 
psychologically acceptable way. In principle it 
would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour 
of the world by building temples and pyramids, by 
digging holes and filling them up again, or even by 


materiales que en la paz constante podrfan 
emplearse para que las masas gozaran de excesiva 
comodidad y, con ello, se hicieran a la larga 
demasiado inteligentes. Aunque las armas no se 
destruyeran, su fabricacion no deja de ser un 
metodo conveniente de gastar trabajo sin producir 
nada que pueda ser consumido. En una fortaleza 
flotante, por ejemplo, se emplea el trabajo que 
hubieran dado varios centenares de barcos de carga. 
Cuando se queda anticuada, y sin haber producido 
ningun beneficio material para nadie, se construye 
una nueva fortaleza flotante mediante un enorme 
acopio de mano de obra. En principio, el esfuerzo 
de guerra se planea para consumir todo lo que sobre 
despues de haber cubierto unas mini mas 
necesidades de la poblacion. Este rrunimo se 
calcula siempre en mucho menos de lo necesario, 
de manera que hay una escasez cronica de casi 
todos los articulos necesarios para la vida, lo cual 
se considera como una ventaja. Constituye una 
tactica deliberada mantener incluso a los grupos 
favorecidos al borde de la escasez, porque un 
estado general de escasez aumenta la importancia 
de los pequenos privilegios y hace que la distincion 
entre un grupo y otro resulte mas evidente. En 
comparacion con el nivel de vida de principios del 
siglo XX, incluso los miembros del Partido Interior 
llevan una vida austera y laboriosa. Sin embargo, 
los pocos lujos que disfrutan — un buen piso, 
mejores telas, buena calidad del alimento, bebidas y 
tabaco, dos o tres criados, un auto o un autogiro 
privado — los colocan en un mundo diferente del 
de los miembros del Partido Exterior, y estos 
ultimos poseen una ventaja similar en comparacion 
con las masas sumergidas, a las que llamamos «los 
proles ». La atmosfera social es la de una ciudad 
sitiada, donde la posesion de un trozo de carne de 
caballo establece la diferencia entre la riqueza y la 
pobreza. Y, al mismo tiempo, la idea de que se esta 
en guerra, y por tanto en peligro, hace que la 
entrega de todo el poder a una reducida casta 
parezca la condicion natural e inevitable para 
sobrevivir. 


»Se vera que la guerra no solo realiza la necesaria 
distincion, sino que la efectua de un modo 
aceptable psicologicamente. En principio, serfa 
muy sencillo derrochar el trabajo sobrante 
construyendo templos y piramides, abriendo zanjas 
y volviendolas a llenar o incluso produciendo 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


223 


producing vast quantities of goods and then setting 
fire to them. But this would provide only the 
economic and not the emotional basis for a 
hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not 
the morale of masses, whose attitude is 
unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at 
work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the 
humblest Party member is expected to be 
competent, industrious, and even intelligent within 
narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he 
should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose 
prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and 
orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary 
that he should have the mentality appropriate to a 
state of war. It does not matter whether the war is 
actually happening, and, since no decisive victory 
is possible, it does not matter whether the war is 
going well or badly. All that is needed is that a 
state of war should exist. The splitting of the 
intelligence which the Party requires of its 
members, and which is more easily achieved in an 
atmosphere of war, is now almost universal, but 
the higher up the ranks one goes, the more marked 
it becomes. It is precisely in the Inner Party that 
war hysteria and hatred of the enemy are strongest. 
In his capacity as an administrator, it is often 
necessary for a member of the Inner Party to know 
that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and 
he may often be aware that the entire war is 
spurious and is either not happening or is being 
waged for purposes quite other than the declared 
ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by 
the technique of DOUBLETHINK. Meanwhile no 
Inner Party member wavers for an instant in his 
mystical belief that the war is real, and that it is 
bound to end victoriously, with Oceania the 
undisputed master of the entire world. 

All members of the Inner Party believe in this 
coming conquest as an article of faith. It is to be 
achieved either by gradually acquiring more and 
more territory and so building up an overwhelming 
preponderance of power, or by the discovery of 
some new and unanswerable weapon. The search 
for new weapons continues unceasingly, and is one 
of the very few remaining activities in which the 
inventive or speculative type of mind can find any 
outlet. In Oceania at the present day, Science, in 
the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In 
Newspeak there is no word for 'Science'. The 


inmensas cantidades de bienes y prendiendoles 
fuego. Pero esto solo daria la base economica y no 
la emotiva para una sociedad jerarquizada. Lo que 
interesa no es la moral de las masas, cuya actitud 
no importa mientras se hallen absorbidas por su 
trabajo, sino la moral del Partido mismo. Se espera 
que hasta el mas humilde de los miembros del 
Partido sea competente, laborioso e incluso 
inteligente — siempre dentro de Ifmites reducidos, 
claro esta — , pero siempre es preciso que sea un 
fanatico ignorante y credulo en el que prevalezca el 
miedo, el odio, la adulacion y una continua 
sensacion orgiastico de triunfo. En otras palabras, 
es necesario que ese hombre posea la mentalidad 
tipica de la guerra. No importa que haya o no haya 
guerra y, ya que no es posible una victoria decisiva, 
tampoco importa si la guerra va bien o mal. Lo 
unico preciso es que exista un estado de guerra. La 
desintegracion de la inteligencia especial que el 
Partido necesita de sus miembros, y que se logra 
mucho mejor en una atmosfera de guerra, es ya casi 
universal, pero se nota con mas relieve a medida 
que subimos en la escala jerarquica. Precisamente 
es en el Partido Interior donde la histeria belica y el 
odio al enemigo son mas intensos. Para ejercer bien 
sus funciones administrativas, se ve obligado con 
frecuencia el miembro del Partido Interior a saber 
que esta o aquella noticia de guerra es falsa y puede 
saber muchas veces que una pretendida guerra o no 
existe o se esta realizando con fines completamente 
distintos a los declarados. Pero ese conocimiento 
queda neutralizado facilmente mediante la tecnica 
del doblepensar. De modo que ningun miembro del 
Partido Interior vacila ni un solo instante en su 
creencia mfstica de que la guerra es una realidad y 
que terminara victoriosamente con el dominio 
indiscutible de Oceania sobre el mundo entero. 


»Todos los miembros del Partido Interior creen en 
esta futura victoria total como en un articulo de fe. 
Se conseguira, o bien paulatinamente mediante la 
adquisicion de mas territorios sobre los que se 
basara una aplastante preponderancia, o bien por el 
descubrimiento de algun arma secreta. Continua sin 
cesar la busqueda de nuevas armas, y esta es una de 
las poquisimas actividades en que todavia pueden 
encontrar salida la inventiva y las investigaciones 
cientificas. En la Oceania de hoy la ciencia en su 
antiguo sentido ha dejado casi de existir. En 
neolengua no hay palabra para ciencia. El metodo 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


224 


empirical method of thought, on which all the 
scientific achievements of the past were founded, 
is opposed to the most fundamental principles of 
Ingsoc. And even technological progress only 
happens when its products can in some way be 
used for the diminution of human liberty. In all the 
useful arts the world is either standing still or 
going backwards. The fields are cultivated with 
horse-ploughs while books are written by 
machinery. But in matters of vital importance — 
meaning, in effect, war and police espionage — the 
empirical approach is still encouraged, or at least 
tolerated. The two aims of the Party are to conquer 
the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish 
once and for all the possibility of independent 
thought. There are therefore two great problems 
which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how 
to discover, against his will, what another human 
being is thinking, and the other is how to kill 
several hundred million people in a few seconds 
without giving warning beforehand. In so far as 
scientific research still continues, this is its subject 
matter. The scientist of today is either a mixture of 
psychologist and inquisitor, studying with real 
ordinary minuteness the meaning of facial 
expressions, gestures, and tones of voice, and 
testing the truth-producing effects of drugs, shock 
therapy, hypnosis, and physical torture; or he is 
chemist, physicist, or biologist concerned only 
with such branches of his special subject as are 
relevant to the taking of life. In the vast 
laboratories of the Ministry of Peace, and in the 
experimental stations hidden in the Brazilian 
forests, or in the Australian desert, or on lost 
islands of the Antarctic, the teams of experts are 
indefatigably at work. Some are concerned simply 
with planning the logistics of future wars; others 
devise larger and larger rocket bombs, more and 
more powerful explosives, and more and more 
impenetrable armour-plating; others search for 
new and deadlier gases, or for soluble poisons 
capable of being produced in such quantities as to 
destroy the vegetation of whole continents, or for 
breeds of disease germs immunized against all 
possible antibodies; others strive to produce a 
vehicle that shall bore its way under the soil like a 
submarine under the water, or an aeroplane as 
independent of its base as a sailing-ship; others 
explore even remoter possibilities such as focusing 
the sun's rays through lenses suspended thousands 
of kilometres away in space, or producing artificial 


empfrico de pensamiento, en el cual se basaron 
todos los adelantos cientificos del pasado, es 
opuesto a los principios fundamentals de Ingsoc. E 
incluso el progreso tecnico solo existe cuando sus 
productos pueden ser empleados para disminuir la 
libertad humana. 


»Las dos finalidades del Partido son conquistar 
toda la superficie de la Tierra y extinguir de una 
vez para siempre la posibilidad de toda libertad del 
pensamiento. Hay, por tanto, dos grandes 
problemas que ha de resolver el Partido. Uno es el 
de descubrir, contra la voluntad del interesado, lo 
que esta pensando determinado ser humano, y el 
otro es como suprimir, en pocos segundos y sin 
previo aviso, a varios centenares de millones de 
personas. Este es el principal objetivo de las 
investigaciones cientificas. El hombre de ciencia 
actual es una mezcla de psicologo y policia que 
estudia con extraordinaria minuciosidad el 
significado de las expresiones faciales, gestos y 
tonos de voz, los efectos de las drogas que obligan 
a decir la verdad, la terapeutica del shock, del 
hipnotismo y de la tortura ffsica; y si es un quhnico, 
un ffsico o un biologo, solo se preocupara por 
aquellas ramas que dentro de su especialidad sirvan 
para matar. En los grandes laboratories del 
Ministerio de la Paz, en las estaciones 
experimentales ocultas en las selvas brasilenas, en 
el desierto australiano o en las islas perdidas del 
Atlantico, trabajan incansablemente los equipos 
tecnicos. Unos se dedican solo a planear la logistica 
de las guerras futuras; otros, a idear bombas cohete 
cada vez mayores, explosivos cada vez mas 
poderosos y corazas cada vez mas impenetrables; 
otros buscan gases mas mortiferos o venenos que 
puedan ser producidos en cantidades tan inmensas 
que destruyan la vegetacion de todo un continente, 
o cultivan germenes inmunizados contra todos los 
posibles antibioticos; otros se esfuerzan por 
producir un vehiculo que se abra paso por la tierra 
como un submarino bajo el agua, o un aeroplano 
tan independiente de su base como un barco en el 
mar, otros exploran posibilidades aun mas remotas, 
como la de concentrar los rayos del sol mediante 
gigantescas lentes suspendidas en el espacio a miles 



George Orwell 


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225 


earthquakes and tidal waves by tapping the heat at 
the earth's centre. 


But none of these projects ever comes anywhere 
near realization, and none of the three super-states 
ever gains a significant lead on the others. What is 
more remarkable is that all three powers already 
possess, in the atomic bomb, a weapon far more 
powerful than any that their present researches are 
likely to discover. Although the Party, according to 
its habit, claims the invention for itself, atomic 
bombs first appeared as early as the nineteen- 
forties, and were first used on a large scale about 
ten years later. At that time some hundreds of 
bombs were dropped on industrial centres, chiefly 
in European Russia, Western Europe, and North 
America. The effect was to convince the ruling 
groups of all countries that a few more atomic 
bombs would mean the end of organized society, 
and hence of their own power. Thereafter, 
although no formal agreement was ever made or 
hinted at, no more bombs were dropped. All three 
powers merely continue to produce atomic bombs 
and store them up against the decisive opportunity 
which they all believe will come sooner or later. 
And meanwhile the art of war has remained almost 
stationary for thirty or forty years. Helicopters are 
more used than they were formerly, bombing 
planes have been largely superseded by self- 
propelled projectiles, and the fragile movable 
battleship has given way to the almost unsinkable 
Floating Fortress; but otherwise there has been 
little development. The tank, the submarine, the 
torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and the 
hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the 
endless slaughters reported in the Press and on the 
telescreens, the desperate battles of earlier wars, in 
which hundreds of thousands or even millions of 
men were often killed in a few weeks, have never 
been repeated. 


None of the three super-states ever attempts any 
manoeuvre which involves the risk of serious 
defeat. When any large operation is undertaken, it 
is usually a surprise attack against an ally. The 
strategy that all three powers are following, or 
pretend to themselves that they are following, is 


de kilometros, o producir terremotos artificiales 
utilizando el calor del centro de la Tierra. 


»Pero ninguno de estos proyectos se aproxima 
nunca a su realizacion, y ninguno de los tres 
superestados adelanta a los otros dos de un modo 
definitivo. Lo mas notable es que las tres potencias 
tienen ya, con la bomba atomica, un arma mucho 
mas poderosa que cualquiera de las que ahora 
tratan de convertir en realidad. Aunque el Partido, 
segun su costumbre, quiere atribuirse el invento, las 
bombas atomicas aparecieron por primera vez a 
principios de los anos cuarenta y tantos de este 
siglo y fueron usadas en gran escala unos diez anos 
despues. En aquella epoca cayeron unos centenares 
de bombas en los centros industriales, 
principalmente de la Rusia Europea, Europa 
Occidental y Norteamerica. El objeto perseguido 
era convencer a los gobemantes de todos los paises 
que unas cuantas bombas mas terminanan con la 
sociedad organizada y por tanto con su poder. A 
partir de entonces, y aunque no se llego a ningun 
acuerdo formal, no se arrojaron mas bombas 
atomicas. Las potencias actuales siguen 
produciendo bombas atomicas y almacenandolas en 
espera de la oportunidad decisiva que todos creen 
llegara algun dia. Mientras tanto, el arte de la 
guerra ha permanecido estacionado durante treinta 
o cuarenta anos. Los autogiros se usan mas que 
antes, los aviones de bombardeo han sido 
sustituidos en gran parte por los proyectiles 
autoimpulsados y el fragil tipo de barco de guerra 
fue reemplazado por las fortalezas flotantes, casi 
imposibles de hundir. Pero, aparte de ello, apenas 
ha habido adelantos belicos. Se siguen usando el 
tanque, el submarino, el torpedo, la ametralladora e 
incluso el rifle y la granada de mano. Y, a pesar de 
las interminables matanzas comunicadas por la 
Prensa y las telepantallas, las desesperadas batallas 
de las guerras anteriores en las cuales morfan en 
pocas semanas centenares de miles e incluso 
millones de hombres — no han vuelto a repetirse. 

»Ninguno de los tres superestados intenta nunca 
una maniobra que suponga el riesgo de una seria 
derrota. Cuando se lleva a cabo una operacion de 
grandes proporciones, suele tratarse de un ataque 
por sorpresa contra un aliado. La estrategia que 
siguen los tres superestados — o que pretenden 



George Orwell 


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226 


the same. The plan is, by a combination of 
fighting, bargaining, and well-timed strokes of 
treachery, to acquire a ring of bases completely 
encircling one or other of the rival states, and then 
to sign a pact of friendship with that rival and 
remain on peaceful terms for so many years as to 
lull suspicion to sleep. During this time rockets 
loaded with atomic bombs can be assembled at all 
the strategic spots; finally they will all be fired 
simultaneously, with effects so devastating as to 
make retaliation impossible. It will then be time to 
sign a pact of friendship with the remaining world- 
power, in preparation for another attack. This 
scheme, it is hardly necessary to say, is a mere 
daydream, impossible of realization. Moreover, no 
fighting ever occurs except in the disputed areas 
round the Equator and the Pole: no invasion of 
enemy territory is ever undertaken. This explains 
the fact that in some places the frontiers between 
the super-states are arbitrary. Eurasia, for example, 
could easily conquer the British Isles, which are 
geographically part of Europe, or on the other hand 
it would be possible for Oceania to push its 
frontiers to the Rhine or even to the Vistula. But 
this would violate the principle, followed on all 
sides though never formulated, of cultural 
integrity. If Oceania were to conquer the areas that 
used once to be known as France and Germany, it 
would be necessary either to exterminate the 
inhabitants, a task of great physical difficulty, or to 
assimilate a population of about a hundred million 
people, who, so far as technical development goes, 
are roughly on the Oceanic level. The problem is 
the same for all three super-states. It is absolutely 
necessary to their structure that there should be no 
contact with foreigners, except, to a limited extent, 
with war prisoners and coloured slaves. Even the 
official ally of the moment is always regarded with 
the darkest suspicion. War prisoners apart, the 
average citizen of Oceania never sets eyes on a 
citizen of either Eurasia or Eastasia, and he is 
forbidden the knowledge of foreign languages. If 
he were allowed contact with foreigners he would 
discover that they are creatures similar to himself 
and that most of what he has been told about them 
is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would 
be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self- 
righteousness on which his morale depends might 
evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that 
however often Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon 
may change hands, the main frontiers must never 


seguir es la misma. Su plan es adquirir, mediante 
una combinacion, un anillo de bases que rodee 
completamente a uno de los estados rivales para 
firmar luego un pacto de amistad con ese rival y 
seguir en relaciones pacfficas con el durante el 
tiempo que sea preciso para que se conffen. En este 
tiempo, se almacenan bombas atomicas en los sitios 
estrategicos. Esas bombas, cargadas en los cohetes, 
seran disparadas algun dfa simultaneamente, con 
efectos tan devastadores que no habra posibilidad 
de respuesta. Entonces se firmara un pacto de 
amistad con la otra potencia, en preparacion de un 
nuevo ataque. No es preciso advertir que este plan 
es un ensueno de imposible realizacion. Nunca hay 
verdadera lucha a no ser en las zonas disputadas en 
el Ecuador y en los Polos: no hay invasiones del 
territorio enemigo. Lo cual explica que en algunos 
sitios sean arbitrarias las fronteras entre los 
superestados. Por ejemplo, Eurasia podrfa 
conquistar facilmente las Islas Britanicas, que 
forman parte, geograficamente, de Europa, y 
tambien serfa posible para Oceania avanzar sus 
fronteras hasta el Rin e incluso hasta el Vistula. 
Pero esto violarfa el principio — seguido por todos 
los bandos, aunque nunca formulado — de la 
integridad cultural. Asf, si Oceania conquistara las 
areas que antes se conocfan con los nombres de 
Francia y Alemania, serfa necesario exterminar a 
todos sus habitantes — tarea de gran dificultad 
ffsica o asimilarse una poblacion de un centenar de 
millones de personas que, en lo tecnico, estan a la 
misma altura que los oceanicos. El problema es el 
mismo para todos los superestados, siendo 
absolutamente imprescindible que su estructura no 
entre en contacto con extranjeros, excepto en 
reducidas proporciones con prisioneros de guerra y 
esclavos de color. Incluso el aliado oficial del 
momento es considerado con mucha suspicacia. El 
ciudadano medio de Oceania nunca ve a un 
ciudadano de Eurasia ni de Asia Oriental — aparte 
de los prisioneros — y se le prohfbe que aprenda 
lenguas extranjeras. Si se le permitiera entrar en 
relacion con extranjeros, descubrirfa que son 
criaturas iguales a el en lo esencial y que casi todo 
lo que se le ha dicho sobre ellos es una sarta de 
mentiras. Se romperfa asf el mundo cerrado y en 
que vive y quiza desaparecieran el miedo, el odio y 
la rigidez fanatica en que se basa su moral. Se 
admite, por tanto, en los tres Estados que por 
mucho que cambien de manos Persia, Egipto, Java 
o Ceilan, las fronteras principals nunca podran ser 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


227 


be crossed by anything except bombs. 

Under this lies a fact never mentioned aloud, but 
tacitly understood and acted upon: namely, that the 
conditions of life in all three super-states are very 
much the same. In Oceania the prevailing 
philosophy is called Ingsoc, in Eurasia it is called 
Neo-Bolshevism, and in Eastasia it is called by a 
Chinese name usually translated as Death- 
Worship, but perhaps better rendered as 
Obliteration of the Self. The citizen of Oceania is 
not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the 
other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate 
them as barbarous outrages upon morality and 
common sense. Actually the three philosophies are 
barely distinguishable, and the social systems 
which they support are not distinguishable at all. 
Everywhere there is the same pyramidal structure, 
the same worship of semi-divine leader, the same 
economy existing by and for continuous warfare. It 
follows that the three super-states not only cannot 
conquer one another, but would gain no advantage 
by doing so. On the contrary, so long as they 
remain in conflict they prop one another up, like 
three sheaves of corn. And, as usual, the ruling 
groups of all three powers are simultaneously 
aware and unaware of what they are doing. Their 
lives are dedicated to world conquest, but they also 
know that it is necessary that the war should 
continue everlastingly and without victory. 
Meanwhile the fact that there IS no danger of 
conquest makes possible the denial of reality 
which is the special feature of Ingsoc and its rival 
systems of thought. Here it is necessary to repeat 
what has been said earlier, that by becoming 
continuous war has fundamentally changed its 
character. 


In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was 
something that sooner or later came to an end, 
usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the 
past, also, war was one of the main instruments by 
which human societies were kept in touch with 
physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to 
impose a false view of the world upon their 
followers, but they could not afford to encourage 
any illusion that tended to impair military 
efficiency. So long as defeat meant the loss of 
independence, or some other result generally held 


cruzadas mas que por las bombas. 

»Bajo todo esto hallamos un hecho al que nunca se 
alude, pero admitido tacitamente y sobre el que se 
basa toda conducta oficial, a saber: que las 
condiciones de vida de los tres superestados son 
casi las mismas. En Oceania prevalece la ideologia 
llamada Ingsoc, en Eurasia el neobolchevismo y en 
Asia Oriental lo que se conoce por un nombre 
chino que suele traducirse por «adoracion de la 
muerte», pero que quiza quedana mejor expresado 
como «desaparicion del yo». Al ciudadano de 
Oceania no se le permite saber nada de las otras dos 
ideologias, pero se le ensena a condenarlas como 
barbaros insultos contra la moralidad y el sentido 
comun. La verdad es que apenas pueden 
distinguirse las tres ideologias, y los sistemas 
sociales que ellas soportan son los mismos. En los 
tres existe la misma estructura piramidal, identica 
adoracion a un jefe semidivino, la misma economia 
orientada hacia una guerra continua. De ahi que no 
solo no puedan conquistarse mutuamente los tres 
superestados, sino que no tendrfan ventaja alguna si 
lo consiguieran. Por el contrario, se ayudan 
mutuamente manteniendose en pugna. Y los grupos 
dirigentes de las tres Potencias saben y no saben, a 
la vez, lo que estan haciendo. Dedican sus vidas a 
la conquista del mundo, pero estan convencidos al 
mismo tiempo de que es absolutamente necesario 
que la guerra continue eternamente sin ninguna 
victoria definitiva. Mientras tanto, el hecho de que 
no hay peligro de conquista hace posible la 
denegacion sistematica de la realidad, que es la 
caracterfstica principal del Ingsoc y de sus sistemas 
rivales. Y aqui hemos de repetir que, al hacerse 
continua, la guerra ha cambiado fundamentalmente 
de caracter. 


»En tiempos pasados, una guerra, casi por 
definition, era algo que mas pronto o mas tarde 
tenia un final; generalmente, una clara victoria o 
una derrota indiscutible. Ademas, en el pasado, la 
guerra era uno de los principales instrumentos con 
que se mantenian las sociedades humanas en 
contacto con la realidad fisica. Todos los 
gobemantes de todas las epocas intentaron imponer 
un falso concepto del mundo a sus subditos, pero 
no podian fomentar ilusiones que perjudicasen la 
eficacia militar. Como quiera que la derrota 



George Orwell 


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228 


to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat 
had to be serious. Physical facts could not be 
ignored. In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or 
politics, two and two might make five, but when 
one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had 
to make four. Inefficient nations were always 
conquered sooner or later, and the struggle for 
efficiency was inimical to illusions. Moreover, to 
be efficient it was necessary to be able to learn 
from the past, which meant having a fairly 
accurate idea of what had happened in the past. 
Newspapers and history books were, of course, 
always coloured and biased, but falsification of the 
kind that is practised today would have been 
impossible. War was a sure safeguard of sanity, 
and so far as the ruling classes were concerned it 
was probably the most important of all safeguards. 
While wars could be won or lost, no ruling class 
could be completely irresponsible. 


But when war becomes literally continuous, it also 
ceases to be dangerous. When war is continuous 
there is no such thing as military necessity. 
Technical progress can cease and the most 
palpable facts can be denied or disregarded. As we 
have seen, researches that could be called scientific 
are still carried out for the purposes of war, but 
they are essentially a kind of daydreaming, and 
their failure to show results is not important. 
Efficiency, even military efficiency, is no longer 
needed. Nothing is efficient in Oceania except the 
Thought Police. Since each of the three super- 
states is unconquerable, each is in effect a separate 
universe within which almost any perversion of 
thought can be safely practised. Reality only exerts 
its pressure through the needs of everyday life — 
the need to eat and drink, to get shelter and 
clothing, to avoid swallowing poison or stepping 
out of top-storey windows, and the like. Between 
life and death, and between physical pleasure and 
physical pain, there is still a distinction, but that is 
all. Cut off from contact with the outer world, and 
with the past, the citizen of Oceania is like a man 
in interstellar space, who has no way of knowing 
which direction is up and which is down. The 
rulers of such a state are absolute, as the Pharaohs 
or the Caesars could not be. They are obliged to 
prevent their followers from starving to death in 


significaba la perdida de la independencia o 
cualquier otro resultado indeseable, habian de 
tomar serias precauciones para evitar la derrota. 
Estos hechos no podran ser ignorados. Aun 
admitiendo que en filosofra, en ciencia, en etica o 
en polftica dos y dos pudieran ser cinco, cuando se 
fabricaba un canon o un aeroplano tenran que ser 
cuatro. Las naciones mal preparadas acababan 
siempre siendo conquistadas, y la lucha por una 
mayor eficacia no admitra ilusiones. Ademas, para 
ser eficaces habia que aprender del pasado, lo cual 
suponra estar bien enterado de lo ocurrido en 
epocas anteriores. Los periodicos y los libros de 
historia eran parciales, naturalmente, pero habrfa 
sido imposible una falsificacion como la que hoy se 
realiza. La guerra era una garantra de cordura. Y 
respecto a las clases gobernantes, era el freno mas 
seguro. Nadie podia ser, desde el poder, 
absolutamente irresponsable desde el momento en 
que una guerra cualquiera podra ser ganada o 
perdida. 

»Pero cuando una guerra se hace continua, deja de 
ser peligrosa porque desaparece toda necesidad 
militar. El progreso tecnico puede cesar y los 
hechos mas palpables pueden ser negados o 
descartados como cosas sin importancia. Lo unico 
eficaz en Oceania es la Policra del Pensamiento. 
Como cada uno de los tres superestados es 
inconquistable, cada uno de ellos es, por tanto, un 
mundo separado dentro del cual puede ser 
practicada con toda tranquilidad cualquier 
perversion mental. La realidad solo ejerce su 
presion sobre las necesidades de la vida cotidiana: 
la necesidad de comer y de beber, de vestirse y 
tener un techo, de no beber venenos ni caerse de las 
ventanas, etc... Entre la vida y la muerte, y entre el 
placer frsico y el dolor frsico, sigue habiendo una 
distincion, pero eso es todo. Cortados todos los 
contactos con el mundo exterior y con el pasado, el 
ciudadano de Oceania es como un hombre en el 
espacio interestelar, que no tiene manera de saber 
por donde se va hacia arriba y por donde hacia 
abajo. Los gobernantes de un Estado como este son 
absolutos como pudieran serlo los faraones o los 
cesares. Se ven obligados a evitar que sus gentes se 
mueran de hambre en cantidades excesivas, y han 
de mantenerse al mismo nivel de baja tecnica 
militar que sus rivales. Pero, una vez conseguido 
ese minimo, pueden retorcer y deformar la realidad 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


229 


numbers large enough to be inconvenient, and they 
are obliged to remain at the same low level of 
military technique as their rivals; but once that 
minimum is achieved, they can twist reality into 
whatever shape they choose. 

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards 
of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like 
the battles between certain ruminant animals 
whose horns are set at such an angle that they are 
incapable of hurting one another. But though it is 
unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus 
of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the 
special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical 
society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely 
internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all 
countries, although they might recognize their 
common interest and therefore limit the 
destructiveness of war, did fight against one 
another, and the victor always plundered the 
vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting 
against one another at all. The war is waged by 
each ruling group against its own subjects, and the 
object of the war is not to make or prevent 
conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of 
society intact. The very word ‘war’, therefore, has 
become misleading. It would probably be accurate 
to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased 
to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on 
human beings between the Neolithic Age and the 
early twentieth century has disappeared and been 
replaced by something quite different. The effect 
would be much the same if the three super-states, 
instead of fighting one another, should agree to 
live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its 
own boundaries. For in that case each would still 
be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from 
the sobering influence of external danger. A peace 
that was truly permanent would be the same as a 
permanent war. This — although the vast majority 
of Party members understand it only in a shallower 
sense — is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: 
WAR IS PEACE. 


Winston stopped reading for a moment. 
Somewhere in remote distance a rocket bomb 
thundered. The blissful feeling of being alone with 
the forbidden book, in a room with no telescreen, 
had not worn off. Solitude and safety were 


dandole la forma que se les antoje. 


»Por tanto, la guerra de ahora, comparada con las 
antiguas, es una impostura. Se podrfa comparar esto 
a las luchas entre ciertos rumiantes cuyos cuernos 
estan colocados de tal manera que no pueden 
herirse. Pero aunque es una impostura, no deja de 
tener sentido. Sirve para consumir el sobrante de 
bienes y ayuda a conservar la atmosfera mental 
imprescindible para una sociedad jerarquizado. 
Como se ve, la guerra es ya solo un asunto de 
polrtica interna. En el pasado, los grupos dirigentes 
de todos los parses, aunque reconocieran sus 
propios intereses e incluso los de sus enemigos y 
gritaran en lo posible la destructividad de la guerra, 
en definitiva luchaban unos contra otros y el 
vencedor aplastaba al vencido. En nuestros dras no 
luchan unos contra otros, sino cada grupo dirigente 
contra sus propios subditos, y el objeto de la guerra 
no es conquistar territorio ni defenderlo, sino 
mantener intacta la estructura de la sociedad. Por lo 
tanto, la palabra guerra se ha hecho equrvoca. 
Quiza serra acertado decir que la guerra, al hacerse 
continua, ha dejado de existir. La presion que 
ejercra sobre los seres humanos entre la Edad 
neolrtica y principios del siglo XX ha desaparecido, 
siendo sustituida por algo completamente distinto. 
El efecto serra muy parecido si los tres 
superestados, en vez de pelear cada uno con los 
otros, llegaran al acuerdo — respetandole — de 
vivir en paz perpetua sin traspasar cada uno las 
fronteras del otro. En ese caso, cada uno de ellos 
seguirfa siendo un mundo cerrado libre de la 
angustiosa influencia del peligro extemo. Una paz 
que fuera de verdad permanente serra lo mismo que 
una guerra permanente. Este es el sentido 
verdadero (aunque la mayorfa de los miembros del 
Partido lo entienden solo de un modo superficial) 
de la consigna del Partido: la guerra es la paz. 

Winston dejo de leer un momento. A una gran 
distancia habra estallado una bomba. La inefable 
sensacion de estar leyendo el libro prohibido, en 
una habitacion sin telepantalla, segufa llenandolo 
de satisfaccion. La soledad y la seguridad eran 



George Orwell 


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230 


physical sensations, mixed up somehow with the 
tiredness of his body, the softness of the chair, the 
touch of the faint breeze from the window that 
played upon his cheek. The book fascinated him, 
or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told 
him nothing that was new, but that was part of the 
attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had 
been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts 
in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his 
own, but enormously more powerful, more 
systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he 
perceived, are those that tell you what you know 
already. He had just turned back to Chapter I when 
he heard Julia’s footstep on the stair and started 
out of his chair to meet her. She dumped her 
brown tool-bag on the floor and flung herself into 
his arms. It was more than a week since they had 
seen one another. 

‘I’ve got THE BOOK,’ he said as they 
disentangled themselves. 

‘Oh, you’ve got it? Good,’ she said without much 
interest, and almost immediately knelt down 
beside the oil stove to make the coffee. 


They did not return to the subject until they had 
been in bed for half an hour. The evening was just 
cool enough to make it worth while to pull up the 
counterpane. From below came the familiar sound 
of singing and the scrape of boots on the 
flagstones. The brawny red-armed woman whom 
Winston had seen there on his first visit was 
almost a fixture in the yard. There seemed to be no 
hour of daylight when she was not marching to and 
fro between the washtub and the line, alternately 
gagging herself with clothes pegs and breaking 
forth into lusty song. Julia had settled down on her 
side and seemed to be already on the point of 
falling asleep. He reached out for the book, which 
was lying on the floor, and sat up against the 
bedhead. 


‘We must read it,’ he said. ‘You too. All members 
of the Brotherhood have to read it.’ 


‘You read it,’ she said with her eyes shut. ‘Read it 


sensaciones fisicas, mezcladas por el cansancio de 
su cuerpo, la suavidad de la alfombra, la caricia de 
la debil brisa que entraba por la ventana... El libro 
le fascinaba o, mas exactamente, lo tranquilizaba. 
En cierto sentido, no le ensenaba nada nuevo, pero 
esto era una parte de su encanto. Decia lo que el 
propio Winston podia haber dicho, si le hubiera 
sido posible ordenar sus propios pensamientos y 
darles una clara expresion. Este libro era el 
producto de una mente semejante a la suya, pero 
mucho mas poderosa, mas sistematica y libre de 
temores. Penso Winston que los mejores libros son 
los que nos dicen lo que ya sabemos. Habia vuelto 
al capitulo I cuando oyo los pasos de Julia en la 
escalera. Se levanto del sillon para salirle al 
encuentro. Julia entro en ese momento, tiro su bolsa 
al suelo y se lanzo a los brazos de el. Hacia mas de 
una semana que no se habian visto. 

— Tengo el libro — dijo Winston en cuanto se 
apart aron. 

— ^Ah, si? Muy bien — dijo ella sin gran interes y 
casi inmediatamente se arrodillo junto a la estufa 
para hacer cafe. 

No volvieron a hablar del libro hasta despues de 
media hora de estar en la cama. La tarde era 
bastante fresca para que mereciera la pena cerrar la 
ventana. De abajo llegaban las habituales canciones 
y el ruido de botas sobre el empedrado. La mujer de 
los brazos rojizos parecia no moverse del patio. A 
todas horas del dia estaba lavando y tendiendo 
ropa. Julia tenia sueno, Winston volvio a coger el 
libro, que estaba en el suelo, y se sento apoyando la 
espalda en la cabecera de la cama. 


— Tenemos que leerlo — dijo — . Y tu tambien. 
Todos los miembros de la Hermandad deben leerlo. 


— Leelo tu — dijo Julia con los ojos cerrados — . 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


231 


aloud. That’s the best way. Then you can explain it 
to me as you go.’ 


The clock’s hands said six, meaning eighteen. 
They had three or four hours ahead of them. He 
propped the book against his knees and began 
reading: 


Chapter I 


Ignorance is Strength 


Throughout recorded time, and probably since the 
end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three 
kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, 
and the Low. They have been subdivided in many 
ways, they have borne countless different names, 
and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude 
towards one another, have varied from age to age: 
but the essential structure of society has never 
altered. Even after enormous upheavals and 
seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern 
has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope 
will always return to equilibrium, however far it is 
pushed one way or the other 


‘Julia, are you awake?’ said Winston. 

‘Yes, my love, I’m listening. Go on. It’s 
marvellous.’ 


He continued reading: 


The aims of these three groups are entirely 
irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain 
where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change 
places with the High. The aim of the Low, when 
they have an aim — for it is an abiding 
characteristic of the Low that they are too much 
crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently 
conscious of anything outside their daily lives — is 
to abolish all distinctions and create a society in 


Leelo en voz alta. Asf es mejor. Y me puedes 
explicar los puntos diffciles. 

El viejo reloj marcaba las seis, o sea, las dieciocho. 
Disponfan de tres o cuatro horas mas. Winston se 
puso el libro abierto sobre las rodillas en angulo y 
empezo a leer: 

«CAPITULO PRIMERO 


La ignorancia es lafuerza 

»Durante todo el tiempo de que se tiene noticia, 
probablemente desde fines del perfodo neolftico, ha 
habido en el mundo tres clases de personas: los 
Altos, los Medianos y los Bajos. Se han 
subdividido de muchos modos, han llevado muy 
diversos nombres y su numero relativo, asf como la 
actitud que han guardado unos hacia otros, han 
variado de epoca en epoca; pero la estructura 
esencial de la sociedad nunca ha cambiado. Incluso 
despues de enormes con mociones y de cambios 
que parecfan irrevocables, la misma estructura ha 
vuelto a imponerse, igual que un giroscopio vuelve 
siempre a la posicion de equilibrio por mucho que 
lo empujemos en un sentido o en otro. 

— Julia, ^estas despierta? — dijo Winston. 

— Sf, amor mfo, te escucho. Sigue. Es maravilloso. 


Winston continuo leyendo: 

«Los fines de estos tres grupos son inconciliables. 
Los Altos quieren quedarse donde estan. Los 
Medianos tratan de arrebatarles sus puestos a los 
Altos. La finalidad de los Bajos, cuando la tienen 
— porque su principal caracterfstica es hallarse 
aplastados por las exigencias de la vida cotidiana 
— , consiste en abolir todas las distinciones y crear 
una sociedad en que todos los hombres sean 
iguales. Asf, vuelve a presentarse continuamente la 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


232 


which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout 
history a struggle which is the same in its main 
outlines recurs over and over again. For long 
periods the High seem to be securely in power, but 
sooner or later there always comes a moment when 
they lose either their belief in themselves or their 
capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are 
then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the 
Low on their side by pretending to them that they 
are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they 
have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the 
Low back into their old position of servitude, and 
themselves become the High. Presently a new 
Middle group splits off from one of the other 
groups, or from both of them, and the struggle 
begins over again. Of the three groups, only the 
Low are never even temporarily successful in 
achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration 
to say that throughout history there has been no 
progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period 
of decline, the average human being is physically 
better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no 
advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no 
reform or revolution has ever brought human 
equality a millimetre nearer. From the point of 
view of the Low, no historic change has ever 
meant much more than a change in the name of 
their masters. 


By the late nineteenth century the recurrence of 
this pattern had become obvious to many 
observers. There then rose schools of thinkers who 
interpreted history as a cyclical process and 
claimed to show that inequality was the unalterable 
law of human life. This doctrine, of course, had 
always had its adherents, but in the manner in 
which it was now put forward there was a 
significant change. In the past the need for a 
hierarchical form of society had been the doctrine 
specifically of the High. It had been preached by 
kings and aristocrats and by the priests, lawyers, 
and the like who were parasitical upon them, and it 
had generally been softened by promises of 
compensation in an imaginary world beyond the 
grave. The Middle, so long as it was struggling for 
power, had always made use of such terms as 
freedom, justice, and fraternity. Now, however, the 
concept of human brotherhood began to be 
assailed by people who were not yet in positions of 
command, but merely hoped to be so before long. 


misma lucha social. Durante largos perfodos, 
parece que los Altos se encuentran muy seguros en 
su poder, pero siempre llega un momento en que 
pierden la confianza en sf mismos o se debilita su 
capacidad para gobernar, o ambas cosas a la vez. 
Entonces son derrotados por los Medianos, que 
llevan junto a ellos a los Bajos porque les han 
asegurado que ellos representan la libertad y la 
justicia. En cuanto logran sus objetivos, los 
Medianos abandonan a los Bajos y los relegan a su 
antigua posicion de servidumbre, convirtiendose 
ellos en los Altos. Entonces, un grupo de los 
Medianos se separa de los demas y empiezan a 
luchar entre ellos. De los tres grupos, solamente los 
Bajos no logran sus objetivos ni siquiera 
transitoriamente. Serfa exagerado afirmar que en 
toda la Historia no ha habido progreso material. 
Aun hoy, en un perfodo de decadencia, el ser 
humano se encuentra mejor que hace unos cuantos 
siglos. Pero ninguna reforma ni revolucion alguna 
han conseguido acercarse ni un milimetro a la 
igualdad humana. Desde el punto de vista de los 
Bajos, ningun cambio historico ha significado 
mucho mas que un cambio en el nombre de sus 
amos. 


»A fines del siglo XIX eran muchos los que habian 
visto claro este juego. De ahl que surgieran 
escuelas del pensamiento que interpretaban la 
Historia como un proceso ciclico y aseguraban que 
la desigualdad era la ley inalterable de la vida 
humana. Desde luego, esta doctrina ha tenido 
siempre sus partidarios, pero se habia introducido 
un cambio significativo. En el pasado, la necesidad 
de una forma jerarquica de la sociedad habia sido la 
doctrina privativa de los Altos. Fue defendida por 
reyes, aristocratas, jurisconsultos, etc. Los 
Medianos, mientras luchaban por el poder, 
utilizaban terminos como «libertad», «justicia» y 
«fratemidad». Sin embargo, el concepto de la 
fratemidad humana empezo a ser atacado por 
individuos que todavia no estaban en el Poder, pero 
que esperaban estarlo pronto. En el pasado, los 
Medianos hicieron revoluciones bajo la bandera de 
la igualdad, pero se limitaron a imponer una nueva 
tirania apenas desaparecida la anterior. En cambio, 
los nuevos grupos de Medianos proclamaron de 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


233 


In the past the Middle had made revolutions under 
the banner of equality, and then had established a 
fresh tyranny as soon as the old one was 
overthrown. The new Middle groups in effect 
proclaimed their tyranny beforehand. Socialism, a 
theory which appeared in the early nineteenth 
century and was the last link in a chain of thought 
stretching back to the slave rebellions of antiquity, 
was still deeply infected by the Utopianism of past 
ages. But in each variant of Socialism that 
appeared from about 1900 onwards the aim of 
establishing liberty and equality was more and 
more openly abandoned. The new movements 
which appeared in the middle years of the century, 
Ingsoc in Oceania, Neo-Bolshevism in Eurasia, 
Death- Worship, as it is commonly called, in 
Eastasia, had the conscious aim of perpetuating 
UNfreedom and INequality. These new 
movements, of course, grew out of the old ones 
and tended to keep their names and pay lip-service 
to their ideology. But the purpose of all of them 
was to arrest progress and freeze history at a 
chosen moment. The familiar pendulum swing was 
to happen once more, and then stop. As usual, the 
High were to be turned out by the Middle, who 
would then become the High; but this time, by 
conscious strategy, the High would be able to 
maintain their position permanently. 

The new doctrines arose partly because of the 
accumulation of historical knowledge, and the 
growth of the historical sense, which had hardly 
existed before the nineteenth century. The cyclical 
movement of history was now intelligible, or 
appeared to be so; and if it was intelligible, then it 
was alterable. But the principal, underlying cause 
was that, as early as the beginning of the twentieth 
century, human equality had become technically 
possible. It was still true that men were not equal 
in their native talents and that functions had to be 
specialized in ways that favoured some individuals 
against others; but there was no longer any real 
need for class distinctions or for large differences 
of wealth. In earlier ages, class distinctions had 
been not only inevitable but desirable. Inequality 
was the price of civilization. With the development 
of machine production, however, the case was 
altered. Even if it was still necessary for human 
beings to do different kinds of work, it was no 
longer necessary for them to live at different social 


antemano su tiranfa. El socialismo, teorfa que 
aparecio a principios del siglo XIX y que fue el 
ultimo eslabon de una cadena que se extendfa hasta 
las rebeliones de esclavos en la Antigiiedad, segufa 
profundamente infestado por las viejas utopias. 
Pero a cada variante de socialismo aparecida a 
partir de 1900 se abandonaba mas abiertamente la 
pretension de establecer la libertad y la igualdad. 
Los nuevos movimientos que surgieron a mediados 
del siglo, Ingsoc en Oceania, neobolchevismo en 
Eurasia y adoracion de la muerte en Asia oriental, 
tenfan como finalidad consciente la perpetuacion de 
la falta de libertad y de la desigualdad social. Estos 
nuevos movimientos, claro esta, nacieron de los 
antiguos y tendieron a conservar sus nombres y 
aparentaron respetar sus ideologfas. Pero el 
proposito de todos ellos era solo detener el 
progreso e inmovilizar a la Historia en un momento 
dado. El movimiento de pendulo iba a ocurrir una 
vez mas y luego a detenerse. Como de costumbre, 
los Altos serfan desplazados por los Medianos, que 
entonces se convertirian a su vez en Altos, pero 
esta vez, por una estrategia consciente, estos 
ultimos Altos conservarfan su posicion 
permanentemente . 


»Las nuevas doctrinas surgieron en parte a causa de 
la acumulacion de conocimientos historicos y del 
aumento del sentido historico, que apenas habfa 
existido antes del siglo XIX. Se entendfa ya el 
movimiento cfclico de la Historia, o parecfa 
entenderse; y al ser comprendido podia ser tambien 
alterado. Pero la causa principal y subyacente era 
que ya a principios del siglo XX era tecnicamente 
posible la igualdad humana. Segufa siendo cierto 
que los hombres no eran iguales en sus facultades 
innatas y que las funciones habfan de especializarse 
de modo que favorecfan inevitablemente a unos 
individuos sobre otros; pero ya no eran precisas las 
diferencias de clase ni las grandes diferencias de 
riqueza. Antiguamente, las diferencias de clase no 
solo habfan sido inevitables, sino deseables. La 
desigualdad era el precio de la civilizacion. Sin 
embargo, el desarrollo del maquinismo iba a 
cambiar esto. Aunque fuera aun necesario que los 
seres humanos realizaran diferentes clases de 
trabajo, ya no era preciso que vivieran en diferentes 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


234 


or economic levels. Therefore, from the point of 
view of the new groups who were on the point of 
seizing power, human equality was no longer an 
ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted. 
In more primitive ages, when a just and peaceful 
society was in fact not possible, it had been fairly 
easy to believe it. The idea of an earthly paradise 
in which men should live together in a state of 
brotherhood, without laws and without brute 
labour, had haunted the human imagination for 
thousands of years. And this vision had had a 
certain hold even on the groups who actually 
profited by each historical change. The heirs of the 
French, English, and American revolutions had 
partly believed in their own phrases about the 
rights of man, freedom of speech, equality before 
the law, and the like, and have even allowed their 
conduct to be influenced by them to some extent. 
But by the fourth decade of the twentieth century 
all the main currents of political thought were 
authoritarian. The earthly paradise had been 
discredited at exactly the moment when it became 
realizable. Every new political theory, by whatever 
name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and 
regimentation. And in the general hardening of 
outlook that set in round about 1930, practices 
which had been long abandoned, in some cases for 
hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, 
the use of war prisoners as slaves, public 
executions, torture to extract confessions, the use 
of hostages, and the deportation of whole 
populations — not only became common again, but 
were tolerated and even defended by people who 
considered themselves enlightened and 
progressive. 


It was only after a decade of national wars, civil 
wars, revolutions, and counter-revolutions in all 
parts of the world that Ingsoc and its rivals 
emerged as fully worked-out political theories. But 
they had been foreshadowed by the various 
systems, generally called totalitarian, which had 
appeared earlier in the century, and the main 
outlines of the world which would emerge from 
the prevailing chaos had long been obvious. What 
kind of people would control this world had been 
equally obvious. The new aristocracy was made up 
for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, 
technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity 
experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and 


niveles sociales o economicos. Por tanto, desde el 
punto de vista de los nuevos grupos que estaban a 
punto de apoderarse del mando, no era ya la 
igualdad humana un ideal por el que convenfa 
luchar, sino un peligro que habfa de ser evitado. En 
epocas mas antiguas, cuando una sociedad justa y 
pacffica no era posible, resultaba muy facil creer en 
ella. La idea de un parafso terrenal en el que los 
hombres vivirfan como hermanos, sin leyes y sin 
trabajo agotador, estuvo obsesionando a muchas 
imaginaciones durante miles de anos. Y esta vision 
tuvo una cierta importancia incluso entre los grupos 
que de hecho se aprovecharon de cada cambio 
historico. Los herederos de la Revolucion francesa, 
inglesa y americana habfan crefdo parcialmente en 
sus frases sobre los derechos humanos, libertad de 
expresion, igualdad ante la ley y demas, e incluso 
se dejaron influir en su conducta por algunas de 
ellas hasta cierto punto. Pero hacia la decada cuarta 
del siglo XX todas las corrientes de pensamiento 
politico eran autoritarias. Pero ese parafso terrenal 
quedo desacreditado precisamente cuando podfa 
haber sido realizado, y en el segundo cuarto del 
siglo XX volvieron a ponerse en practica 
procedimientos que ya no se usaban desde hacfa 
siglos: encarcelamiento sin proceso, empleo de los 
prisioneros de guerra como esclavos, ejecuciones 
publicas, tortura para extraer confesiones, uso de 
rehenes y deportacion de poblaciones en masa. 
Todo esto se hizo habitual y fue defendido por 
individuos considerados como inteligentes y 
avanzados. Los nuevos sistemas politicos se 
basaban en la jerarqufa y la regimentacion. 


»Despues de una decada de guerras nacionales, 
guerras civiles, revoluciones y contrarrevoluciones 
en todas partes del mundo, surgieron el Ingsoc y 
sus rivales como teorfas polfticas inconmovibles. 
Pero ya las habfan anunciado los varios sistemas, 
generalmente llamados totalitarios, que aparecieron 
durante el segundo cuarto de siglo y se vela 
claramente el perfil que habfa de tener el mundo 
futuro. La nueva aristocracia estaba formada en su 
mayorfa por burocratas, hombres de ciencia, 
tecnicos, organizadores sindicales, especialistas en 
propaganda, sociologos, educadores, Periodistas y 
politicos profesionales. Esta gente, cuyo origen 
estaba en la clase media asalariada y en la capa 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


235 


professional politicians. These people, whose 
origins lay in the salaried middle class and the 
upper grades of the working class, had been 
shaped and brought together by the barren world 
of monopoly industry and centralized government. 
As compared with their opposite numbers in past 
ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by 
luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, 
more conscious of what they were doing and more 
intent on crushing opposition. This last difference 
was cardinal. By comparison with that existing 
today, all the tyrannies of the past were half- 
hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were 
always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, 
and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, 
to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested 
in what their subjects were thinking. Even the 
Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant 
by modern standards. Part of the reason for this 
was that in the past no government had the power 
to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. 
The invention of print, however, made it easier to 
manipulate public opinion, and the film and the 
radio carried the process further. With the 
development of television, and the technical 
advance which made it possible to receive and 
transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, 
private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at 
least every citizen important enough to be worth 
watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a 
day under the eyes of the police and in the sound 
of official propaganda, with all other channels of 
communication closed. 


The possibility of enforcing not only complete 
obedience to the will of the State, but complete 
uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed 
for the first time. 


After the revolutionary period of the fifties and 
sixties, society regrouped itself, as always, into 
High, Middle, and Low. But the new High group, 
unlike all its forerunners, did not act upon instinct 
but knew what was needed to safeguard its 
position. It had long been realized that the only 
secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism. Wealth 
and privilege are most easily defended when they 
are possessed jointly. The so-called ‘abolition of 
private property’ which took place in the middle 


superior de la clase obrera, habla sido formada y 
agrupada por el mundo inhospito de la industria 
monopolizada y el gobiemo centralizado. 
Comparados con los miembros de las clases 
dirigentes en el pasado, esos hombres eran menos 
avariciosos, les tentaba menos el lujo y mas el 
placer de mandar, y, sobre todo, tenfan mas 
conciencia de lo que estaban haciendo y se 
dedicaban con mayor intensidad a aplastar a la 
oposicion. Esta ultima diferencia era esencial. 
Comparadas con la que hoy existe, todas las 
tiramas del pasado fueron debiles e ineficaces. Los 
grupos gobemantes se hallaban contagiados 
siempre en cierta medida por las ideas liberales y 
no les importaba dejar cabos sueltos por todas 
partes. Solo se preocupaban por los actos realizados 
y no se interesaban por lo que los subditos pudieran 
pensar. En parte, esto se debe a que en el pasado 
ningiin Estado tenia el poder necesario para 
someter a todos sus ciudadanos a una vigilancia 
constante. Sin embargo, el invento de la imprenta 
facilito mucho el manejo de la opinion publica, y el 
cine y la radio contribuyeron en gran escala a 
acentuar este proceso. Con el desarrollo de la 
television y el adelanto tecnico que hizo posible 
recibir y transmitir simultaneamente en el mismo 
aparato, termino la vida privada. Todos los 
ciudadanos, o por lo menos todos aquellos 
ciudadanos que poselan la suficiente importancia 
para que mereciese la pena vigilarlos, podlan ser 
tenidos durante las veinticuatro horas del dla bajo 
la constante observacion de la policla y rodeados 
sin cesar por la propaganda oficial, mientras que se 
les cortaba toda comunicacion con el mundo 
exterior. 

»Por primera vez en la Historia existla la 
posibilidad de forzar a los gobemados, no solo a 
una completa obediencia a la voluntad del Estado, 
sino a la completa uniformidad de opinion. 

»De spues del perfodo revolucionario entre los anos 
cincuenta y tantos y setenta, la sociedad volvio a 
agruparse como siempre, en Altos, Medios y Bajos. 
Pero el nuevo grupo de Altos, a diferencia de sus 
predecesores, no actuaba ya por instinto, sino que 
sabia lo que necesitaba hacer para salvaguardar su 
posicion. Los privilegiados se habian dado cuenta 
desde hacla bastante tiempo de que la base mas 
segura para la oligarqula es el colectivismo. La 
riqueza y los privilegios se defienden mas 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


236 


years of the century meant, in effect, the 
concentration of property in far fewer hands than 
before: but with this difference, that the new 
owners were a group instead of a mass of 
individuals. Individually, no member of the Party 
owns anything, except petty personal belongings. 
Collectively, the Party owns everything in 
Oceania, because it controls everything, and 
disposes of the products as it thinks fit. In the years 
following the Revolution it was able to step into 
this commanding position almost unopposed, 
because the whole process was represented as an 
act of collectivization. It had always been assumed 
that if the capitalist class were expropriated, 
Socialism must follow: and unquestionably the 
capitalists had been expropriated. Factories, mines, 
land, houses, transport — everything had been taken 
away from them: and since these things were no 
longer private property, it followed that they must 
be public property. Ingsoc, which grew out of the 
earlier Socialist movement and inherited its 
phraseology, has in fact carried out the main item 
in the Socialist programme; with the result, 
foreseen and intended beforehand, that economic 
inequality has been made permanent. 


But the problems of perpetuating a hierarchical 
society go deeper than this. There are only four 
ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. 
Either it is conquered from without, or it governs 
so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, 
or it allows a strong and discontented Middle 
group to come into being, or it loses its own self- 
confidence and willingness to govern. These 
causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four 
of them are present in some degree. A ruling class 
which could guard against all of them would 
remain in power permanently. Ultimately the 
determining factor is the mental attitude of the 
ruling class itself. 

After the middle of the present century, the first 
danger had in reality disappeared. Each of the 
three powers which now divide the world is in fact 
unconquerable, and could only become 
conquerable through slow demographic changes 


facilmente cuando se poseen conjuntamente. La 
llamada «abolicion de la propiedad privada», que 
ocurrio a mediados de este siglo, querfa decir que la 
propiedad iba a concentrarse en un numero mucho 
menor de manos que anteriormente, pero con esta 
diferencia: que los nuevos duenos constituirfan un 
grupo en vez de una masa de individuos. 
Individualmente, ningun miembro del Partido 
posee nada, excepto insignificantes objetos de uso 
personal. Colectivamente, el Partido es el dueno de 
todo lo que hay en Oceania, porque lo controla todo 
y dispone de los productos como mejor se le antoja. 
En los anos que siguieron, la Revolucion pudo ese 
grupo tomar el mando sin encontrar apenas 
oposicion porque todo el proceso fue presentado 
como un acto de colectivizacion. Siempre se habia 
dado por cierto que si la clase capitalista era 
expropiada, el socialismo se impondrfa, y era un 
hecho que los capitalistas habian sido expropiados. 
Las fabricas, las minas, las tierras, las casas, los 
medios de transporte, todo se les habia quitado, y 
como todo ello dejaba de ser propiedad privada, era 
evidente que pasaba a ser propiedad publica. El 
Ingsoc, procedente del antiguo socialismo y que 
habia heredado su fraseologia, realizo, los 
principios fundamentals de ese socialismo, con el 
resultado previsto y deseado, de que la desigualdad 
economica se hizo permanente. 

»Pero los problemas que plantea la perpetuacion de 
una sociedad jerarquizada son mucho mas 
complicados. Solo hay cuatro medios de que un 
grupo dirigente sea derribado del Poder. O es 
vencido desde fuera, o gobierna tan ineficazmente 
que las masas se le rebelan, o permite la formacion 
de un grupo medio que lo pueda desplazar, o pierde 
la confianza en si mismo y la voluntad de mando. 
Estas causas no operan sueltas, y por lo general se 
presentan las cuatro combinadas en cierta medida. 
El factor que decide en ultima instancia es la 
actitud mental de la propia clase gobemante. 


»Despues de mediados del siglo XX, el primer 
peligro habia desaparecido. No habia posibilidad de 
una derrota infligida por una Potencia enemiga. 
Cada uno de los tres superestados en que ahora se 
divide el mundo es inconquistable, y solo podria 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


237 


which a government with wide powers can easily 
avert. The second danger, also, is only a theoretical 
one. The masses never revolt of their own accord, 
and they never revolt merely because they are 
oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not 
permitted to have standards of comparison, they 
never even become aware that they are oppressed. 
The recurrent economic crises of past times were 
totally unnecessary and are not now permitted to 
happen, but other and equally large dislocations 
can and do happen without having political results, 
because there is no way in which discontent can 
become articulate. As for the problem of over- 
production, which has been latent in our society 
since the development of machine technique, it is 
solved by the device of continuous warfare (see 
Chapter III), which is also useful in keying up 
public morale to the necessary pitch. From the 
point of view of our present rulers, therefore, the 
only genuine dangers are the splitting-off of a new 
group of able, under-employed, power-hungry 
people, and the growth of liberalism and 
scepticism in their own ranks. The problem, that is 
to say, is educational. It is a problem of 
continuously moulding the consciousness both of 
the directing group and of the larger executive 
group that lies immediately below it. The 
consciousness of the masses needs only to be 
influenced in a negative way. 

Given this background, one could infer, if one did 
not know it already, the general structure of 
Oceanic society. At the apex of the pyramid comes 
Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all- 
powerful. Every success, every achievement, every 
victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, 
all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to 
issue directly from his leadership and inspiration. 
Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on 
the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen. We may 
be reasonably sure that he will never die, and there 
is already considerable uncertainty as to when he 
was bom. Big Brother is the guise in which the 
Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His 
function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, 
and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt 
towards an individual than towards an 
organization. Below Big Brother comes the Inner 
Party. Its numbers limited to six millions, or 
something less than 2 per cent of the population of 


llegar a ser conquistado por lentos cambios 
demograficos, que un Gobierno con amplios 
poderes puede evitar muy facilmente. El segundo 
peligro es solo teorico. Las masas nunca se 
levantan por su propio impulso y nunca lo haran 
por la sola razon de que estan oprimidas. Las crisis 
economicas del pasado fueron absolutamente 
innecesarias y ahora no se tolera que ocurran, pero 
de todos modos ninguna razon de descontento 
podra tener ahora resultados politicos, ya que no 
hay modo de que el descontento se articule. En 
cuanto al problema de la superproduccion, que ha 
estado latente en nuestra sociedad desde el 
desarrollo del maquinismo, queda resuelto por el 
recurso de la guerra continua (vease el capitulo III), 
que es tambien necesaria para mantener la moral 
publica a un elevado nivel. Por tanto, desde el 
punto de vista de nuestros actuales gobernantes, los 
unicos peligros autenticos son la aparicion de un 
nuevo grupo de personas muy capacitadas y avidas 
de poder o el crecimiento del espiritu liberal y del 
escepticismo en las propias filas gubemamentales. 
O sea, todo se reduce a un problema de educacion, 
a moldear continuamente la mentalidad del grupo 
dirigente y del que se halla inmediatamente debajo 
de el. En cambio, la conciencia de las masas solo 
ha de ser influida de un modo negativo. 


»Con este fondo se puede deducir la estructura 
general de la sociedad de Oceania. En el vertice de 
la piramide esta el Gran Hermano. Este es infalible 
y todopoderoso. Todo triunfo, todo descubrimiento 
cientifico, toda sabidurfa, toda felicidad, toda 
virtud, se considera que procede directamente de su 
inspiracion y de su poder. Nadie ha visto nunca al 
Gran Hermano. Es una cara en los carteles, una voz 
en la telepantalla. Podemos estar seguros de que 
nunca morira y no hay manera de saber cuando 
nacio. El Gran Hermano es la concrecion con que 
el Partido se presenta al mundo. Su funcion es 
actuar como punto de mira para todo amor, miedo o 
respeto, emociones que se sienten con mucha 
mayor facilidad hacia un individuo que hacia una 
organizacion. Detras del Gran Hermano se halla el 
Partido Interior, del cual solo forman parte seis 
millones de personas, o sea, menos del seis por 
ciento de la poblacion de Oceania. Despues del 
Partido Interior, tenernos el Partido Exterior; y si el 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


238 


Oceania. Below the Inner Party comes the Outer primero puede ser descrito como «el cerebro del 
Party, which, if the Inner Party is described as the Estado», el segundo pudiera ser comparado a las 
brain of the State, may be justly likened to the manos. Mas abajo se encuentra la masa amorfa de 
hands. Below that come the dumb masses whom los proles, que constituyen quiza el 85 por ciento de 
we habitually refer to as ‘the proles’, numbering la poblacion. En los terminos de nuestra anterior 
perhaps 85 per cent of the population. In the terms clasificacion, los proles son los Bajos. Y las masas 
of our earlier classification, the proles are the Low: de esclavos procedentes de las tierras ecuatoriales, 

for the slave population of the equatorial lands que pasan constantemente de vencedor a vencedor 
who pass constantly from conqueror to conqueror, (no olvidemos que «vencedor» solo debe ser 
are not a permanent or necessary part of the tornado de un modo relativo) y no forman parte de 
structure. la poblacion propiamente dicha. 


In principle, membership of these three groups is 
not hereditary. The child of Inner Party parents is 
in theory not bom into the Inner Party. Admission 
to either branch of the Party is by examination, 
taken at the age of sixteen. Nor is there any racial 
discrimination, or any marked domination of one 
province by another. Jews, Negroes, South 
Americans of pure Indian blood are to be found in 
the highest ranks of the Party, and the 
administrators of any area are always drawn from 
the inhabitants of that area. In no part of Oceania 
do the inhabitants have the feeling that they are a 
colonial population ruled from a distant capital. 
Oceania has no capital, and its titular head is a 
person whose whereabouts nobody knows. Except 
that English is its chief LINGUA FRANCA and 
Newspeak its official language, it is not centralized 
in any way. Its rulers are not held together by 
blood-ties but by adherence to a common doctrine. 
It is true that our society is stratified, and very 
rigidly stratified, on what at first sight appear to be 
hereditary lines. There is far less to-and-fro 
movement between the different groups than 
happened under capitalism or even in the pre- 
industrial age. Between the two branches of the 
Party there is a certain amount of interchange, but 
only so much as will ensure that weaklings are 
excluded from the Inner Party and that ambitious 
members of the Outer Party are made harmless by 
allowing them to rise. Proletarians, in practice, are 
not allowed to graduate into the Party. The most 
gifted among them, who might possibly become 
nuclei of discontent, are simply marked down by 
the Thought Police and eliminated. But this state 
of affairs is not necessarily permanent, nor is it a 
matter of principle. The Party is not a class in the 
old sense of the word. It does not aim at 
transmitting power to its own children, as such; 


»En principio, la pertenencia a estos tres grupos no 
es hereditaria. No se considera que un nino nazca 
dentro del Partido Interior porque sus padres 
pertenezcan a el. La entrada en cada una de las 
ramas del Partido se realiza mediante examen a la 
edad de dieciseis anos. Tampoco hay prejuicios 
raciales ni dominio de una provincia sobre otra. En 
los mas elevados puestos del Partido encontramos 
judfos, negros, sudamericanos de pura sangre india, 
y los dirigentes de cualquier — zona proceden 
siempre de los habitantes de ese area. En ninguna 
parte de Oceania tienen sus habitantes la sensacion 
de ser una poblacion colonial regida desde una 
capital remota. Oceania no tiene capital y su jefe 
titular es una persona cuya residencia nadie conoce. 
No esta centralizada en modo alguno, aparte de que 
el ingles es su principal lingua franca y que la 
neolengua es su idioma oficial. Sus gobemantes no 
se hallan ligados por lazos de sangre, sino por la 
adherencia a una doctrina comun. Es verdad que 
nuestra sociedad se compone de estratos — una 
division muy rfgida en estratos — ateniendose a lo 
que a primera vista parecen normas hereditarias. 
Hay mucho menos intercambio entre los diferentes 
grupos de lo que habia en la epoca capitalista o en 
las epocas preindustriales. Entre las dos ramas del 
Partido se verifica algiin intercambio, pero 
solamente lo necesario para que los debiles sean 
excluidos del Partido Interior y que los miembros 
ambiciosos del Partido Exterior pasen a ser 
inofensivos al subir de categoria. En la practica, los 
proletaries no pueden entrar en el Partido. Los mas 
dotados de ellos, que podian quiza constituir un 
nucleo de descontentos, son fichados por la Policia 
del Pensamiento y eliminados. Pero semejante 
estado de cosas no es permanente ni de ello se hace 
cuestion de principio. El Partido no es una clase en 
el antiguo sentido de la palabra. No se propone 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


239 


and if there were no other way of keeping the 
ablest people at the top, it would be perfectly 
prepared to recruit an entire new generation from 
the ranks of the proletariat. In the crucial years, the 
fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a 
great deal to neutralize opposition. The older kind 
of Socialist, who had been trained to fight against 
something called ‘class privilege’ assumed that 
what is not hereditary cannot be permanent. He did 
not see that the continuity of an oligarchy need not 
be physical, nor did he pause to reflect that 
hereditary aristocracies have always been 
shortlived, whereas adoptive organizations such as 
the Catholic Church have sometimes lasted for 
hundreds or thousands of years. The essence of 
oligarchical rule is not father- to- son inheritance, 
but the persistence of a certain world-view and a 
certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the 
living. A ruling group is a ruling group so long as 
it can nominate its successors. The Party is not 
concerned with perpetuating its blood but with 
perpetuating itself. WHO wields power is not 
important, provided that the hierarchical structure 
remains always the same. 


All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental 
attitudes that characterize our time are really 
designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and 
prevent the true nature of present-day society from 
being perceived. Physical rebellion, or any 
preliminary move towards rebellion, is at present 
not possible. From the proletarians nothing is to be 
feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from 
generation to generation and from century to 
century, working, breeding, and dying, not only 
without any impulse to rebel, but without the 
power of grasping that the world could be other 
than it is. They could only become dangerous if 
the advance of industrial technique made it 
necessary to educate them more highly; but, since 
military and commercial rivalry are no longer 
important, the level of popular education is 
actually declining. What opinions the masses hold, 
or do not hold, is looked on as a matter of 
indifference. They can be granted intellectual 
liberty because they have no intellect. In a Party 
member, on the other hand, not even the smallest 


transmitir el poder a sus hijos como tales 
descendientes directos, y si no hubiera otra manera 
de mantener en los puestos de mando a los 
individuos mas capaces, estarfa dispuesto el Partido 
a reclutar una generacion completamente nueva de 
entre las filas del proletariado. En los anos 
cruciales, el hecho de que el Partido no fuera un 
cuerpo hereditario contribuyo muchfsimo a 
neutralizar la oposicion. El socialista de la vieja 
escuela, acostumbrado a luchar contra algo que se 
llamaba «privilegios de clase», daba por cierto que 
todo lo que no es hereditario no puede ser 
permanente. No comprendfa que la continuidad de 
una oligarqufa no necesita ser ffsica ni se paraba a 
pensar que las aristocracias hereditarias han sido 
siempre de corta vida, mientras que organizaciones 
basadas en la adoption han durado centenares y 
miles de anos. Lo esencial de la regia oligarquica 
no es la herencia de padre a hijo, sino la 
persistencia de una cierta manera de ver el mundo y 
de un cierto modo de vida impuesto por los muertos 
a los vivos. Un grupo dirigente es tal grupo 
dirigente en tanto pueda nombrarla sus sucesores. 
El Partido no se preocupa de perpetuar su sangre, 
sino de perpetuarse a sf mismo. No importa quien 
detenta el Poder con tal de que la estructura 
jerarquica sea siempre la misma. 

»Todas las creencias, costumbres, aficiones, 
emociones y actitudes mentales que caracterizan a 
nuestro tiempo sirven para sostener la mfstica del 
Partido y evitar que la naturaleza de la sociedad 
actual sea percibido por la masa. La rebelion ffsica 
o cualquier movimiento preliminar hacia la 
rebelion no es posible en nuestros dfas. Nada hay 
que temer de los proletaries. Dejados aparte, 
continuaran, de generacion en generacion y de siglo 
en siglo, trabajando, procreando y muriendo, no 
solo sin sentir impulsos de rebelarse, sino sin la 
facultad de comprender que el mundo podrfa ser 
diferente de lo que es. Solo podrfan convertirse en 
peligrosos si el progreso de la tecnica industrial 
hiciera necesario educarles mejor; pero como la 
rivalidad militar y comercial ha perdido toda 
importancia, el nivel de la education popular 
declina continuamente. Las opiniones que tenga o 
no tenga la masa se consideran con absoluta 
indiferencia. A los proletaries se les puede 
conceder la libertad intelectual por la sencilla razon 
de que no tienen intelecto alguno. En cambio, a un 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


240 


deviation of opinion on the most unimportant 
subject can be tolerated. 


A Party member lives from birth to death under the 
eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone 
he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he 
may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his 
bath or in bed, he can be inspected without 
warning and without knowing that he is being 
inspected. Nothing that he does is indifferent. His 
friendships, his relaxations, his behaviour towards 
his wife and children, the expression of his face 
when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, 
even the characteristic movements of his body, are 
all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual 
misdemeanour, but any eccentricity, however 
small, any change of habits, any nervous 
mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of 
an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. He has 
no freedom of choice in any direction whatever. 
On the other hand his actions are not regulated by 
law or by any clearly formulated code of 
behaviour. In Oceania there is no law. Thoughts 
and actions which, when detected, mean certain 
death are not formally forbidden, and the endless 
purges, arrests, tortures, imprisonments, and 
vaporizations are not inflicted as punishment for 
crimes which have actually been committed, but 
are merely the wiping-out of persons who might 
perhaps commit a crime at some time in the future. 
A Party member is required to have not only the 
right opinions, but the right instincts. Many of the 
beliefs and attitudes demanded of him are never 
plainly stated, and could not be stated without 
laying bare the contradictions inherent in Ingsoc. If 
he is a person naturally orthodox (in Newspeak a 
GOODTHINKER), he will in all circumstances 
know, without taking thought, what is the true 
belief or the desirable emotion. But in any case an 
elaborate mental training, undergone in childhood 
and grouping itself round the Newspeak words 
CRIMESTOP, BLACKWHITE, and 

DOUBLETHINK, makes him unwilling and 
unable to think too deeply on any subject 
whatever. 


miembro del Partido no se le puede tolerar ni 
siquiera la mas pequena desviacion ideologica. 


»Todo miembro del Partido vive, desde su 
nacimiento hasta su muerte, vigilado por la Policia 
del Pensamiento. Incluso cuando esta solo no puede 
tener la seguridad de hallarse efectivamente solo. 
Dondequiera que este, dormido o despierto, 
trabajando o descansando, en el bano o en la cama, 
puede ser inspeccionado sin previo aviso y sin que 
el sepa que lo inspeccionan. Nada de lo que hace es 
indiferente para la Policia del Pensamiento. Sus 
amistades, sus distracciones, su conducta con su 
mujer y sus hijos, la expresion de su rostro cuando 
se encuentra solo, las palabras que murmura 
durmiendo, incluso los movimientos caracterfsticos 
de su cuerpo, son analizados escrupulosamente. No 
solo una falta efectiva en su conducta, sino 
cualquier pequena excentricidad, cualquier cambio 
de costumbres, cualquier gesto nervioso que pueda 
ser el sintoma de una lucha interna, sera estudiado 
con todo interes. El miembro del Partido carece de 
toda libertad para decidirse por una direccion 
determinada; no puede elegir en modo alguno. Por 
otra parte, sus actos no estan regulados por ninguna 
ley ni por un codigo de conducta claramente 
formulado. En Oceania no existen leyes. Los 
pensamientos y actos que, una vez descubiertos, 
acarrean la muerte segura, no estan prohibidos 
expresamente y las interminables purgas, torturas, 
detenciones y vaporizaciones no se le aplican al 
individuo como castigo por crimenes que haya 
cometido, sino que son sencillamente el barrido de 
personas que quizas algiin dia pudieran cometer un 
crimen politico. No solo se le exige al miembro del 
Partido que tenga las opiniones que se consideran 
buenas, sino tambien los instintos ortodoxos. 
Muchas de las creencias y actitudes que se le piden 
no llegan a fijarse nunca en normas estrictas y no 
podrfan ser proclamadas sin incurrir en flagrantes 
contradicciones con los principios mismos del 
Ingsoc. Si una persona es ortodoxa por naturaleza 
(en neolengua se le llama piensabien) sabra en 
cualquier circunstancia, sin detenerse a pensarlo, 
cual es la creencia acertada o la emocion deseable. 
Pero en todo caso, un enfrentamiento mental 
complicado, que comienza en la infancia y se 
concentra en tomo a las palabras neolinguisticas 
paracrimen, negroblanco y doblepensar, le 
convierte en un ser incapaz de pensar demasiado 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


241 


A Party member is expected to have no private 
emotions and no respites from enthusiasm. He is 
supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred 
of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph 
over victories, and self-abasement before the 
power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents 
produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are 
deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by 
such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the 
speculations which might possibly induce a 
sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in 
advance by his early acquired inner discipline. The 
first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can 
be taught even to young children, is called, in 
Newspeak, CRIMESTOP. CRIMESTOP means 
the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, 
at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It 
includes the power of not grasping analogies, of 
failing to perceive logical errors, of 
misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they 
are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or 
repelled by any train of thought which is capable 
of leading in a heretical direction. CRIMESTOP, 
in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity 
is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the 
full sense demands a control over one’s own 
mental processes as complete as that of a 
contortionist over his body. Oceanic society rests 
ultimately on the belief that Big Brother is 
omnipotent and that the Party is infallible. But 
since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent and 
the party is not infallible, there is need for an 
unwearying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the 
treatment of facts. The keyword here is 
BLACKWHITE. Like so many Newspeak words, 
this word has two mutually contradictory 
meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the 
habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in 
contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party 
member, it means a loyal willingness to say that 
black is white when Party discipline demands this. 
But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that 
black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is 
white, and to forget that one has ever believed the 
contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of 
the past, made possible by the system of thought 
which really embraces all the rest, and which is 
known in Newspeak as DOUBLETHINK. 


sobre cualquier tema. 

»Se espera que todo miembro del Partido carezca 
de emociones privadas y que su entusiasmo no se 
enfrfe en ningun momento. Se supone que vive en 
un continuo frenesf de odio contra los enemigos 
extranjeros y los traidores de su propio pais, en una 
exaltacion triunfal de las victorias y en absoluta 
humildad y entrega ante el Poder y la sabidurfa del 
Partido. Los descontentos producidos por esta vida 
tan seca y poco satisfactoria son suprimidos de rafz 
mediante la vibracion emocional de los Dos 
Minutos de Odio, y las especulaciones que podrfan 
quiza llevar a una actitud esceptica o rebelde son 
aplastadas en sus comienzos o, mejor dicho, antes 
de asomar a la conciencia, mediante la disciplina 
interna adquirida desde la ninez. La primera etapa 
de esta disciplina, que puede ser ensenada incluso a 
los ninos, se llama en neolengua paracrimen. 
Paracrimen significa la facultad de parar, de cortar 
en seco, de un modo casi instintivo, todo 
pensamiento peligroso que pretenda salir a la 
superficie. Incluye esta facultad la de no percibir 
las analogias, de no darse cuenta de los errores de 
logica, de no comprender los razonamientos mas 
sencillos si son contrarios a los principios del 
Ingsoc de sentirse fastidiado e incluso asqueado por 
todo pensamiento orientado en una direccion 
heretica. Paracrimen equivale, pues, a estupidez 
protectora. Pero no basta con la estupidez. Por el 
contrario, la ortodoxia en su mas completo sentido 
exige un control sobre nuestros procesos mentales, 
un autodominio tan completo como el de una 
contorsionista sobre su cuerpo. La sociedad 
oceanica se apoya en definitiva sobre la creencia de 
que el Gran Hermano es omnipotente y que el 
Partido es infalible. Pero como en realidad el Gran 
Hermano no es omnipotente y el Partido no es 
infalible, se requiere una incesante flexibilidad para 
enfrentarse con los hechos. La palabra clave en esto 
es negroblanco. Como tantas palabras 

neolingufsticas, esta tiene dos significados 

contradictories . Aplicada a un contrario, significa 
la costumbre de asegurar descaradamente que lo 
negro es bianco en contradiccion con la realidad de 
los hechos. Aplicada a un miembro del Partido 
significa la buena y leal voluntad de afirmar que lo 
negro es bianco cuando la disciplina del Partido lo 
exija. Pero tambien se designa con esa palabra la 
facultad de creer que lo negro es bianco, mas aun, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


242 


The alteration of the past is necessary for two 
reasons, one of which is subsidiary and, so to 
speak, precautionary. The subsidiary reason is that 
the Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates 
present-day conditions partly because he has no 
standards of comparison. He must be cut off from 
the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign 
countries, because it is necessary for him to 
believe that he is better off than his ancestors and 
that the average level of material comfort is 
constantly rising. But by far the more important 
reason for the readjustment of the past is the need 
to safeguard the infallibility of the Party. It is not 
merely that speeches, statistics, and records of 
every kind must be constantly brought up to date 
in order to show that the predictions of the Party 
were in all cases right. It is also that no change in 
doctrine or in political alignment can ever be 
admitted. For to change one’s mind, or even one’s 
policy, is a confession of weakness. If, for 
example, Eurasia or Eastasia (whichever it may 
be) is the enemy today, then that country must 
always have been the enemy. And if the facts say 
otherwise then the facts must be altered. Thus 
history is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day 
falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry 
of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the 
regime as the work of repression and espionage 
carried out by the Ministry of Love. 


The mutability of the past is the central tenet of 
Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective 
existence, but survive only in written records and 
in human memories. The past is whatever the 
records and the memories agree upon. And since 
the Party is in full control of all records and in 
equally full control of the minds of its members, it 
follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses 
to make it. It also follows that though the past is 
alterable, it never has been altered in any specific 
instance. For when it has been recreated in 


de saber que lo negro es bianco y olvidar que 
alguna vez se creyo lo contrario. Esto exige una 
continua alteracion del pasado, posible gracias al 
sistema de pensamiento que abarca a todo lo demas 
y que se conoce con el nombre de doblepensar. 

»La alteracion del pasado es necesaria por dos 
razones, una de las cuales es subsidiaria y, por 
decirlo asf, de precaucion. La razon subsidiaria es 
que el miembro del Partido, lo mismo que el 
proletario, tolera las condiciones de vida actuales, 
en gran parte porque no tiene con que compararlas. 
Hay que cortarle radicalmente toda relacion con el 
pasado, asf como hay que aislarlo de los pafses 
extranjeros, porque es necesario que se crea en 
mejores condiciones que sus antepasados y que se 
haga la ilusion de que el nivel de comodidades 
materiales crece sin cesar. Pero la razon mas 
importante para «reformar» el pasado es la 
necesidad de salvaguardar la infalibilidad del 
Partido. No solamente es preciso poner al dfa los 
discursos, estadfsticas y datos de toda clase para 
demostrar que las predicciones del Partido nunca 
fallan, sino que no puede admitirse en ningun caso 
que la doctrina polftica del Partido haya cambiado 
lo mas mfnirno porque cualquier variacion de 
tactica polftica es una confesion de debilidad. Si, 
por ejemplo, Eurasia o Asia Orientales la enemiga 
de hoy, es necesario que ese pals (el que sea de los 
dos, segun las circunstancias) figure como el 
enemigo de siempre. Y si los hechos demuestran 
otra cosa, habra que cambiar los hechos. Asf, la 
Historia ha de ser escrita continuamente. Esta 
falsificacion diaria del pasado, realizada por el 
Ministerio de la Verdad, es tan imprescindible para 
la estabilidad del regimen como la represion y el 
espionaje efectuados por el Ministerio del Amor. 

»La mutabilidad del pasado es el eje del Ingsoc. 
Los acontecimientos preteritos no tienen existencia 
objetiva, sostiene el Partido, sino que sobreviven 
solo en los documentos y en las memorias de los 
hombres. El pasado es unicamente lo que digan los 
testimonios escritos y la memoria humana. Pero 
como quiera que el Partido controla por completo 
todos los documentos y tambien la mente de todos 
sus miembros, resulta que el pasado sera lo que el 
Partido quiera que sea. Tambien resulta que aunque 
el pasado puede ser cambiado, nunca lo ha sido en 



243 


George Orwell 

whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this 
new version IS the past, and no different past can 
ever have existed. This holds good even when, as 
often happens, the same event has to be altered out 
of recognition several times in the course of a year. 
At all times the Party is in possession of absolute 
truth, and clearly the absolute can never have been 
different from what it is now. It will be seen that 
the control of the past depends above all on the 
training of memory. To make sure that all written 
records agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is 
merely a mechanical act. But it is also necessary to 
REMEMBER that events happened in the desired 
manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one’s 
memories or to tamper with written records, then it 
is necessary to FORGET that one has done so. The 
trick of doing this can be learned like any other 
mental technique. It is learned by the majority of 
Party members, and certainly by all who are 
intelligent as well as orthodox. In Oldspeak it is 
called, quite frankly, ‘reality control’. In 
Newspeak it is called DOUBLETHINK, though 
DOUBLETHINK comprises much else as well. 


DOUBLETHINK means the power of holding two 
contradictory beliefs in one’s mind 
simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The 
Party intellectual knows in which direction his 
memories must be altered; he therefore knows that 
he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise 
of DOUBLETHINK he also satisfies himself that 
reality is not violated. The process has to be 
conscious, or it would not be carried out with 
sufficient precision, but it also has to be 
unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of 
falsity and hence of guilt. DOUBLETHINK lies at 
the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of 
the Party is to use conscious deception while 
retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with 
complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while 
genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that 
has become inconvenient, and then, when it 
becomes necessary again, to draw it back from 
oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the 


19 8 4 

ningun caso concreto. En efecto, cada vez que ha 
habido que darle nueva forma por las exigencias 
del momento, esta nueva version es ya el pasado y 
no ha existido ningun pasado diferente. Esto sigue 
siendo asf incluso cuando — como ocurre a 
menudo — el mismo acontecimiento tenga que ser 
alterado, hasta hacerse irreconocible, varias veces 
en el transcurso de un ano. En cualquier momento 
se halla el Partido en posesion de la verdad absoluta 
y, naturalmente, lo absoluto no puede haber sido 
diferente de lo que es ahora. Se vera, pues, que el 
control del pasado depende por completo del 
entrenamiento de la memoria. La seguridad de que 
todos los escritos estan de acuerdo con el punto de 
vista ortodoxo que exigen las circunstancias, no es 
mas que una labor mecanica. Pero tambien es 
preciso recorclar que los acontecimientos 
ocurrieron de la manera deseada. Y si es necesario 
adaptar de nuevo nuestros recuerdos o falsificar los 
documentos, tambien es necesario olvidar que se ha 
hecho esto. Este truco puede aprenderse como 
cualquier otra tecnica mental. La mayorfa de los 
miembros del Partido lo aprenden y desde luego lo 
consiguen muy bien todos aquellos que son 
inteligentes ademas de ortodoxos. En el antiguo 
idioma se conoce esta operacion con toda franqueza 
como «control de la realidad». En neolengua se le 
llama doblepensar, aunque tambien es verdad que 
doblepensar comprende muchas cosas. 

Doblepensar significa el poder, la facultad de 
sostener dos opiniones contradictorias 
simultaneamente, dos creencias contrarias 
albergadas a la vez en la mente. El intelectual del 
Partido sabe en que direccion han de ser alterados 
sus recuerdos; por tanto, sabe que esta trucando la 
realidad; pero al mismo tiempo se satisface a sf 
mismo por medio del ejercicio del doblepensar en 
el sentido de que la realidad no queda violada. Este 
proceso ha de ser consciente, pues, si no, no se 
verificarfa con la suficiente precision, pero tambien 
tiene que ser inconsciente para que no deje un 
sentimiento de falsedad y, por tanto, de 
culpabilidad. El doblepensar esta arraigando en el 
corazon mismo del Ingsoc, ya que el acto esencial 
del Partido es el empleo del engano consciente, 
conservando a la vez la firmeza de proposito que 
caracteriza a la autentica honradez. Decir mentiras 
a la vez que se cree sinceramente en ellas, olvidar 
todo hecho que no convenga recordar, y luego, 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


244 


existence of objective reality and all the while to 
take account of the reality which one denies — all 
this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the 
word DOUBLETHINK it is necessary to exercise 
DOUBLETHINK. For by using the word one 
admits that one is tampering with reality; by a 
fresh act of DOUBLETHINK one erases this 
knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie 
always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is 
by means of DOUBLETHINK that the Party has 
been able — and may, for all we know, continue to 
be able for thousands of years — to arrest the 
course of history. 


All past oligarchies have fallen from power either 
because they ossified or because they grew soft. 
Either they became stupid and arrogant, failed to 
adjust themselves to changing circumstances, and 
were overthrown; or they became liberal and 
cowardly, made concessions when they should 
have used force, and once again were overthrown. 
They fell, that is to say, either through 
consciousness or through unconsciousness. It is the 
achievement of the Party to have produced a 
system of thought in which both conditions can 
exist simultaneously. And upon no other 
intellectual basis could the dominion of the Party 
be made permanent. If one is to rule, and to 
continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the 
sense of reality. For the secret of rulership is to 
combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with the 
Power to learn from past mistakes. 


It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners 
of DOUBLETHINK are those who invented 
DOUBLETHINK and know that it is a vast system 
of mental cheating. In our society, those who have 
the best knowledge of what is happening are also 
those who are furthest from seeing the world as it 
is. In general, the greater the understanding, the 
greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less 
sane. One clear illustration of this is the fact that 
war hysteria increases in intensity as one rises in 
the social scale. Those whose attitude towards the 
war is most nearly rational are the subject peoples 


cuando vuelva a ser necesario, sacarlo del olvido 
solo por el tiempo que convenga, negar la 
existencia de la realidad objetiva sin dejar ni por un 
momento de saber que existe esa realidad que se 
niega... todo esto es indispensable. Incluso para 
usar la palabra doblepensar es preciso emplear el 
doblepensar. Porque para usar la palabra se admite 
que se estan haciendo trampas con la realidad. 
Mediante un nuevo acto de doblepensar se borra 
este conocimiento; y asf indefinidamente, 
manteniendose la mentira siempre unos pasos 
delante de la verdad. En definitiva, gracias al 
doblepensar ha sido capaz el Partido — y seguira 
siendolo durante miles de anos — de parar el curso 
de la Historia. 


»Todas las oligarquias del pasado han perdido el 
poder porque se anquilosaron o por haberse 
reblandecido excesivamente. O bien se hacian 
estupidas y arrogantes, incapaces de adaptarse a las 
nuevas circunstancias, y eran vencidas, o bien se 
volvian liberales y cobardes, haciendo concesiones 
cuando debieron usar la fuerza, y tambien fueron 
derrotadas. Es decir, cayeron por exceso de 
conciencia o por pura inconsciencia. El gran exito 
del Partido es haber logrado un sistema de 
pensamiento en que tanto la conciencia como la 
inconsciencia pueden existir simultaneamente. Y 
ninguna otra base intelectual podrfa servirle al 
Partido para asegurar su permanencia. Si uno ha de 
gobemar, y de seguir gobernando siempre, es 
imprescindible que desquicie el sentido de la 
realidad. Porque el secreto del gobiemo infalible 
consiste en combinar la creencia en la propia 
infalibibdad con la facultad de aprender de los 
pasados errores. 

»No es preciso decir que los mas sutiles 
cultivadores del doblepensar son aquellos que lo 
inventaron y que saben perfectamente que este 
sistema es la mejor organizacion del engano 
mental. En nuestra sociedad, aquellos que saben 
mejor lo que esta ocurriendo son a la vez los que 
estan mas lejos de ver al mundo como realmente es. 
En general, a mayor comprension, mayor 
autoengano: los mas inteligentes son en esto los 
menos cuerdos. Un claro ejemplo de ello es que la 
histeria de guerra aumenta en intensidad a medida 
que subimos en la escala social. Aquellos cuya 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


245 


of the disputed territories. To these people the war 
is simply a continuous calamity which sweeps to 
and fro over their bodies like a tidal wave. Which 
side is winning is a matter of complete 
indifference to them. They are aware that a change 
of overlordship means simply that they will be 
doing the same work as before for new masters 
who treat them in the same manner as the old ones. 
The slightly more favoured workers whom we call 
‘the proles’ are only intermittently conscious of the 
war. When it is necessary they can be prodded into 
frenzies of fear and hatred, but when left to 
themselves they are capable of forgetting for long 
periods that the war is happening. It is in the ranks 
of the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, that 
the true war enthusiasm is found. World-conquest 
is believed in most firmly by those who know it to 
be impossible. This peculiar linking-together of 
opposites — knowledge with ignorance, cynicism 
with fanaticism — is one of the chief distinguishing 
marks of Oceanic society. The official ideology 
abounds with contradictions even when there is no 
practical reason for them. Thus, the Party rejects 
and vilifies every principle for which the Socialist 
movement originally stood, and it chooses to do 
this in the name of Socialism. It preaches a 
contempt for the working class unexampled for 
centuries past, and it dresses its members in a 
uniform which was at one time peculiar to manual 
workers and was adopted for that reason. It 
systematically undermines the solidarity of the 
family, and it calls its leader by a name which is a 
direct appeal to the sentiment of family loyalty. 
Even the names of the four Ministries by which we 
are governed exhibit a sort of impudence in their 
deliberate reversal of the facts. The Ministry of 
Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of 
Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture 
and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These 
contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result 
from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate 
exercises in DOUBLETHINK. Lor it is only by 
reconciling contradictions that power can be 
retained indefinitely. In no other way could the 
ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is to be 
for ever averted — if the High, as we have called 
them, are to keep their places permanently — then 
the prevailing mental condition must be controlled 
insanity. 


actitud hacia la guerra es mas racional son los 
subditos de los territories disputados. Para estas 
gentes, la guerra es sencillamente una calamidad 
continua que pasa por encima de ellos con 
movimiento de marca. Para ellos es completamente 
indiferente cual de los bandos va a ganar. Saben 
que un cambio de dueno significa solo que seguiran 
haciendo el mismo trabajo que antes, pero 
sometidos a nuevos amos que los trataran lo mismo 
que los anteriores. Los trabaj adores algo mas 
favorecidos, a los que llamamos proles, solo se dan 
cuenta de un modo intermitente de que hay guerra. 
Cuando es necesario se les inculca el frenesf de 
odio y miedo, pero si se les deja tranquilos son 
capaces de olvidar durante largos perfodos que 
existe una guerra. Y en las filas del Partido sobre 
todo en las del Partido Interior hallamos el 
verdadero entusiasmo belico. Solo creen en la 
conquista del mundo los que saben que es 
imposible. Esta peculiar trabazon de elementos 
opuestos — conocimiento con ignorancia, cinismo 
con fanatismo — es una de las caracterfsticas 
distintivas de la sociedad oceanica. La ideologia 
oficial abunda en contradicciones incluso cuando 
no hay razon alguna que las justifique. Asf, el 
Partido rechaza y vilifica todos los principios que 
defendio en un principio el movimiento socialista, 
y pronuncia esa condenacion precisamente en 
nombre del socialismo. Predica el desprecio de las 
clases trabaj adoras. Un desprecio al que nunca se 
habia llegado, y a la vez viste a sus miembros con 
un uniforme que fue en tiempos el distintivo de los 
obreros manuales y que fue adoptado por esa 
misma razon. Sistematicamente socava la 
solidaridad de la familia y al mismo tiempo llama a 
su jefe supremo con un nombre que es una 
evocacion de la lealtad familiar. Incluso los 
nombres de los cuatro ministerios que los 
gobiernan revelan un gran descaro al tergiversar 
deliberadamente los hechos. El Ministerio de la Paz 
se ocupa de la guerra; El Ministerio de la Verdad, 
de las mentiras; el Ministerio del Amor, de la 
tortura, y el Ministerio de la Abundancia, del 
hambre. Estas contradicciones no son accidentales, 
no resultan de la hipocresia corriente. Son 
ejercicios de doblepensar. Porque solo mediante la 
reconciliacion de las contradicciones es posible 
retener el mando indefinidamente. Si no, se 
volverfa al antiguo ciclo. Si la igualdad humana ha 
de ser evitada para siempre, si los Altos, como los 
hemos llamado, han de conservar sus puestos de un 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


246 


But there is one question which until this moment 
we have almost ignored. It is; WHY should human 
equality be averted? Supposing that the mechanics 
of the process have been rightly described, what is 
the motive for this huge, accurately planned effort 
to freeze history at a particular moment of time? 


Here we reach the central secret. As we have seen, 
the mystique of the Party, and above all of the 
Inner Party, depends upon DOUBLETHINK But 
deeper than this lies the original motive, the never- 
questioned instinct that first led to the seizure of 
power and brought DOUBLETHINK, the Thought 
Police, continuous warfare, and all the other 
necessary paraphernalia into existence afterwards. 
This motive really consists... 


Winston became aware of silence, as one becomes 
aware of a new sound. It seemed to him that Julia 
had been very still for some time past. She was 
lying on her side, naked from the waist upwards, 
with her cheek pillowed on her hand and one dark 
lock tumbling across her eyes. Her breast rose and 
fell slowly and regularly. 


‘Julia.’ 


No answer. 


‘Julia, are you awake?’ 

No answer. She was asleep. He shut the book, put 
it carefully on the floor, lay down, and pulled the 
coverlet over both of them. 


modo permanente, sera imprescindible que el 
estado mental predominante sea la locura 
controlada. 


»Pero hay una cuestion que hasta ahora hemos 
dejado a un lado. A saber: ^por que debe ser 
evitada la igualdad humana? Suponiendo que la 
mecanica de este proceso haya quedado aquf 
claramente descrita, debemos preguntamos ^cual es 
el motivo de este enorme y minucioso esfuerzo 
planeado para congelar la historia de un 
determinado momento? 


»Llegamos con esto al secreto central. Como 
hemos visto, la mistica del Partido, y sobre todo la 
del Partido Interior, depende del doblepensar. Pero 
a mas profundidad aun, se halla el motivo central, 
el instinto nunca puesto en duda, el instinto que los 
llevo por primera vez a apoderarse de los mandos y 
que produjo el doblepensar, la Policia del 
Pensamiento, la guerra continua y todos los demas 
elementos que se han hecho necesarios para el 
sostenimiento del Poder. Este motivo consiste 
realmente en... 


Winston se dio cuenta del silencio, lo mismo que se 
da uno cuenta de un nuevo ruido. Le parecia que 
Julia habia estado completamente inmovil desde 
hacia un rato. Estaba echada de lado, desnuda de la 
cintura para arriba, con su mejilla apoyada en la 
mano y una sombra oscura atravesandole los ojos. 
Su seno subia y bajaba poco a poco y con 
regularidad. 

— Julia. 


No hubo respuesta. 

— Julia, ^estas despierta? 

Silencio. Estaba dormida. Cerro el libro y lo 
deposito cuidadosamente en el suelo, se echo y 
estiro la colcha sobre los dos. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


247 


He had still, he reflected, not learned the ultimate 
secret. He understood HOW; he did not understand 
WHY. Chapter I, like Chapter III, had not actually 
told him anything that he did not know, it had 
merely systematized the knowledge that he 
possessed already. But after reading it he knew 
better than before that he was not mad. Being in a 
minority, even a minority of one, did not make you 
mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if 
you clung to the truth even against the whole 
world, you were not mad. A yellow beam from the 
sinking sun slanted in through the window and fell 
across the pillow. He shut his eyes. The sun on his 
face and the girl’s smooth body touching his own 
gave him a strong, sleepy, confident feeling. He 
was safe, everything was all right. He fell asleep 
murmuring ‘Sanity is not statistical,’ with the 
feeling that this remark contained in it a profound 
wisdom. 


Todavfa, penso, no se habfa enterado de cual era el 
ultimo secreto. Entendfa el como\ no entendfa el 
porque. El capftulo I, como el capftulo III, no le 
habfan ensenado nada que el no supiera. Solamente 
le habfan servido para sistematizar los 
conocimientos que ya posefa. Pero despues de leer 
aquellas paginas tenia una mayor seguridad de no 
estar loco. Encontrarse en minorfa, incluso en 
minorfa de uno solo, no significaba estar loco. 
Habfa la verdad y lo que no era verdad, y si uno se 
aferraba a la verdad incluso contra el mundo entero, 
no estaba uno loco. Un rayo amarillento del sol 
poniente entraba por la ventana y se aplastaba sobre 
la almohada. Winston cerro los ojos. El sol en sus 
ojos y el suave cuerpo de la muchacha tocando al 
suyo le daba una sensacion de sueno, fuerza y 
confianza. Todo estaba bien y el se hallaba 
completamente seguro allf. Se durmio con el 
pensamiento «la cordura no depende de las 
estadfsticas», convencido de que esta observacion 
contenfa una sabidurfa profunda. 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


248 


When he woke it was with the sensation of having 
slept for a long time, but a glance at the old- 
fashioned clock told him that it was only twenty- 
thirty. He lay dozing for a while; then the usual 
deep-lunged singing struck up from the yard 
below: 


‘It was only an ’opeless fancy, 

It passed like an Ipril dye, 

But a look an’ a word an’ the dreams they stirred 
They ’ave stolen my ’eart awye!’ 


The drivelling song seemed to have kept its 
popularity. You still heard it all over the place. It 
had outlived the Hate Song. Julia woke at the 
sound, stretched herself luxuriously, and got out of 
bed. 


‘I’m hungry,’ she said. ‘Let’s make some more 
coffee. Damn! The stove’s gone out and the 
water’s cold.’ She picked the stove up and shook 
it. ‘There’s no oil in it.’ 


‘We can get some from old Charrington, I expect.’ 


‘The funny thing is I made sure it was full. I’m 
going to put my clothes on,’ she added. ‘It seems 
to have got colder.’ 

Winston also got up and dressed himself. The 
indefatigable voice sang on: 


‘They sye that time ’eals all things, 

They sye you can always forget; 

But the smiles an’ the tears acrorss the years 
They twist my ’eart-strings yet!’ 


CAPITULO X 

Se desperto con la sensacion de haber dormido 
mucho tiempo, pero una mirada al antiguo reloj le 
dijo que eran solo las veinte y treinta. Siguio 
adormilado un rato; le desperto otra vez la habitual 
cancion del patio: 


Era solo una ilusion sin espera 
que paso como un di'a de abril; 
pero aquella mirada, aquella palabra 
y los ensuenos que despertaron 
me robaron el corazon. 


Esta cancion conservaba su popularidad. Se ofa por 
todas partes. Habfa sobrevivido a la Cancion del 
Odio. Julia se desperto al ofrla, se estiro con lujuria 
y se levanto. 


— Tengo hambre — dijo — . Vamos a hacer un 
poco de cafe. jCaramba! La estufa se ha apagado y 
el agua esta fria. — Cogio la estufa y la sacudio — . 
No tiene ya gasolina. 

— Supongo que el viejo Charrington podra 
dejamos alguna — dijo Winston. 

— Lo curioso es que me habfa asegurado de que 
estuviera llena — anadio ella — . Parece que se ha 
enfriado. 

El tambien se levanto y se vistio. La incansable voz 
prosegufa: 

Dicen que el tiempo lo cura todo, 
dicen que siempre se olvida, 
pero las sonrisas y lagrimas 
a lo largo de los anos 
me retuercen el corazon 



George Orwell 


19 8 4 


249 


As he fastened the belt of his overalls he strolled 
across to the window. The sun must have gone 
down behind the houses; it was not shining into the 
yard any longer. The flagstones were wet as 
though they had just been washed, and he had the 
feeling that the sky had been washed too, so fresh 
and pale was the blue between the chimney-pots. 
Tirelessly the woman marched to and fro, corking 
and uncorking herself, singing and falling silent, 
and pegging out more diapers, and more and yet 
more. He wondered whether she took in washing 
for a living or was merely the slave of twenty or 
thirty grandchildren. Julia had come across to his 
side; together they gazed down with a sort of 
fascination at the sturdy figure below. As he 
looked at the woman in her characteristic attitude, 
her thick arms reaching up for the line, her 
powerful mare-like buttocks protruded, it struck 
him for the first time that she was beautiful. It had 
never before occurred to him that the body of a 
woman of fifty, blown up to monstrous dimensions 
by childbearing, then hardened, roughened by 
work till it was coarse in the grain like an over-ripe 
turnip, could be beautiful. But it was so, and after 
all, he thought, why not? The solid, contourless 
body, like a block of granite, and the rasping red 
skin, bore the same relation to the body of a girl as 
the rose-hip to the rose. Why should the fruit be 
held inferior to the flower? 


‘She’s beautiful,’ he murmured. 


‘She’s a metre across the hips, easily,’ said Julia. 


‘That is her style of beauty,’ said Winston. 


He held Julia’s supple waist easily encircled by his 
arm. From the hip to the knee her flank was 
against his. Out